Commitment details

Information about the commitment

Submission number 1352821351551-1572
Submission date
  • 12-Nov-2012
Owner of the commitment United European Gastroenterology (UEG)
Name of the organisation's representative in the forum Matthias Löhr
Name of the affiliated Umbrella Organisation or Federation
Title of the commitment Dissemination of evidence based information on the relationship between alcohol and digestive diseases
Commitment summary UEG and its members are continuously conducting important research on the relationship between alcohol and digestive diseases. The outcomes in the form of numerous published research papers gave scientists a good insight in the negative consequences of alcohol for the digestive tract. Years of research showed that the consequences are severe and much more worrying than was initially expected.

Unfortunately this important information is only known to a selected group of people, mainly scientists and NGOs active in this field. EU citizens, policy makers and politicians are often not aware of the severity of the problem. Alcohol is in contrast to smoking still seen as a minor risk factor for the development of often lethal diseases as for example cancer. Research showed that this perception is unjust and that there is a strong link between alcohol and digestive cancer and many other diseases in the digestive tract.

As a commitment to the EU Alcohol and Health Forum UEG would like to disseminate these research outcomes among politicians, policy makers and the EU civil society in general. It will do so through individual meetings with EU politicians and policy makers, high level conferences, open awareness raising events targeting civil society, and by means of the media.

Through the different forms of dissemination/awareness raising, UEG aims at changing the current underestimation of the alcohol problem in the EU. By changing the false perception of politicians, policy makers and civil society UEG intends to encourage actions by these stakeholders that better match the problem at hand.
Link to further information relating to the commitment
Forum members, associated with the commitment
Partners, associated to the commitment

Contact Point

Contact name Matthias Löhr
Organisation Karolinska Institute
Title/Position Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Address
CLINTEC, K53
SE-141 86 Stockholm
Sweden
Tel 00468 5858-2431
Fax
Email Matthias.Loehr@ki.se
If the commitment is implemented in more than one Member State indicate for each country the name of the national contact point

Information about the commitment

Background to the commitment (if any) UEG traditionally has the reduction of harmful alcohol consumption high on its agenda as a more moderate drinking behaviour could prevent many digestive diseases from occurring. As alcohol abuse in many forms is still spread in all EU countries and is especially among youngsters even growing, UEG became over the years increasingly more active on this topic which is demonstrated by the current described commitment and many other actions that will follow in the future.

Priority areas
  • Develop information and education programmes on the effect of harmful drinking
Baseline If not the main topic, alcohol has almost always been reflected in all UEG actions at the EU level. In 2011 alcohol was even made the general priority of UEG which led to amongst others two public events during the annual congress of UEG 'the UEG Week' . In cooperation with a diversity of Swedish patient organisations UEG organised a workshop and a charity run. During the workshop experts provided the audience of approximately 80pax with the latest scientific information on the harmful effects of alcohol abuse and the danger of widespread acceptance of alcohol consumption in our society. In addition to the workshop, a 5KM charity run was organised where more than 200 congress delegates ran for the benefit of local patient organisations whose members are affected by alcohol related diseases.
Start date Nov-2012
End date Dec-2014
Expected interim date
  • 06-Feb-2013
Final report date
  • 06-Feb-2015
Member states
  • Belgium
Other concerned countries

Commercial communication

Target
Tool
Description

Consumer information

Target
Tool
Description

Counseling

Target
Tool
Description

Education

Target
  • No target group specified
Tool
  • Information leaflets
  • web sites
Description UEG will educate civil society, politicians and policy makers about the harmful effects of alcohol. It will do so by means of individual meetings, high level conferences and public awareness events.

Media

Target
  • No target group specified
Tool
  • Newspapers
Description UEG will use its press service to draft and send out several press releases describing the severe effects of alcohol on the digestive tract. It will disseminate these press releases among the national and EU media in Europe.

Youth involvment

Target
Tool
Description

Research

Area
  • Alcohol related harm
Description UEG members will continue to conduct research on alcohol and its relation with digestive diseases. They will share the outcomes with the UEG public affairs team and UEG's press agency who will disseminate the newly acquired information to a wider audience.

Treatment

Target
Description

Commitment activities in the following Member States

Commitment activities in the following Member States

Information on monitoring

Objectives
Relevance (i.e. how will the commitment contribute to achieving the aim of the Forum ?)

Input indicators

Number of people involved
Time spent (Man/hours)
Cost (please indicate in €)
Other

Information on monitoring

Number of people reached
Number of people in the target group reached
Number of participants in different activities
Web site visitors
Number of products
Number of pamphlets/adverts
Established number of contacts
Other

Outcome and impact

Short term
Medium Term
Long Term

Evaluation details

Tool use
  • Internal evaluators
Type of methodology
  • Media surveys

Details about the monitoring report

Title of the commitment
Dissemination of evidence based information on the relationship between alcohol and digestive diseases
Name of the Forum member organisation owning the commitment
United European Gastroenterology (UEG)
Name of the Forum member organisation owning the commitment
United European Gastroenterology (UEG)
Is this a report for an ongoing commitment or a final report?
FINAL
What is the time period covered by this report (in the case of a final report, the reporting period is the life span of the commitment)?
November 2012 and March 31, 2014
Point of contact for the commitment (the person authorised by the organisation owning the commitment who can be contacted for information about the commitment):
L Matthias - United European Gastroenterology (UEG)
CLINTEC, K53
SE-141 86 Stockholm
Sweden
+468 5858-2431

Matthias.Loehr@ki.se
Commitment summary (based on summary given in original commitment form):
UEG and its members are continuously conducting important research on the relationship between alcohol and digestive diseases. The outcomes in the form of numerous published research papers gave scientists a good insight in the negative consequences of alcohol for the digestive tract. Years of research showed that the consequences are severe and much more worrying than was initially expected.

Unfortunately this important information is only known to a selected group of people, mainly scientists and NGOs active in this field. EU citizens, policy makers and politicians are often not aware of the severity of the problem. Alcohol is in contrast to smoking still seen as a minor risk factor for the development of often lethal diseases as for example cancer. Research showed that this perception is unjust and that there is a strong link between alcohol and digestive cancer and many other diseases in the digestive tract.

As a commitment to the EU Alcohol and Health Forum UEG would like to disseminate these research outcomes among politicians, policy makers and the EU civil society in general. It will do so through individual meetings with EU politicians and policy makers, high level conferences, open awareness raising events targeting civil society, and by means of the media.

Through the different forms of dissemination/awareness raising, UEG aims at changing the current underestimation of the alcohol problem in the EU. By changing the false perception of politicians, policy makers and civil society UEG intends to encourage actions by these stakeholders that better match the problem at hand.
Web site/s relating to the commitment
http://www.ueg.eu/news-press/news/news-details/article/wdhd-conference-report-slides/

https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/much-homework-left-for-eu-member-states-exhibition-reveals-shortcomings-in-colorectal-cancer-screen/?tx_ttnews%5Bpointer%5D=3&cHash=42f1eadf97e13ab344eba66511659d91

https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/ueg-week-press-release-major-survey-reveals-changing-trends-and-inequalities-in-healthcare-provisio/
Description of the implementation of the commitment
To further the understanding of the health effects of alcohol on the digestive system, UEG carried out a range of individual dissemination activities throughout the reporting period, which are enumerated in the following:

World Digestive Health Day 2013
On May 29, 2013, EASL and UEG jointly organised a conference titled "The importance of research into liver cancer and alcohol as a risk factor" on the occasion of World Digestive Health Day. The event took place in the Fondation Universitaire opposite of the European Commission Directorate General (DG) for Innovation & Research and near the European Parliament. The meeting was hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Karin Kadenbach from Austria, Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats(S&D). Ms Kadenbach moderated the event together with Mr Giulio Gallo from the European Commission (DG SANCO).

The conference provided policy makers with an overview of the latest findings in medical research on the impact of alcohol on the liver and other organs of the digestive tract. Among the key speakers from the scientific community were the former chair of the UEG Public Affairs Committee Professor Reinhold Stockbrügger and the Secretary General of EASL, Professor Markus Peck. Please find enclosed the complete meeting report.

Presentation to the EAHF by Professor Matthias Löhr
During the plenary meeting of the EAHF on November 21, 2013, Professor Matthias Löhr delivered the enclosed presentation on Alcohol-related mortality and the digestive tract. In addition to describing the current state of research, he presented a number of research priorities in the field.

Colorectal Cancer Booth inside the European Parliament
From February 18-21, 2013, UEG organised a four-day exhibition on colorectal cancer inside the European Parliament. UEG experts and representatives of the patient organisation EuropaColon handed out information and/or personally informed MEPs and other people working inside the European Parliament about the dangers of colorectal cancer, including the risk factors associated with (excessive) alcohol intake.

European Parliament Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy
UEG and other health stakeholders campaigned for the inclusion of a Resolution that calls on the Commission to extend its commitment in tackling alcohol-related through a new Alcohol Strategy, the last one of which expired in 2012. The Resolution makes reference to the known link between alcohol consumption and more than 60 diseases of the digestive tract.

UEG Survey on Digestive Health in Europe
UEG commissioned a large-scaled study assessing the burden of digestive and liver disease in Europe. Intended for use by health policy practitioners, the study is the first of its kind to assemble all available scientific data on digestive and liver diseases into a single document, thus mapping the current state and future trends of this disease area and giving concrete recommendations in terms of future public health and medical research policies. Inter alia, the Survey compiles the available scientific evidence of how alcohol intake is associated with numerous digestive and liver diseases. UEG had worked on the Survey since 2013 and eventually released it in autumn 2014.
Objectives (cf. sections 4-5 of the Monitoring Commitment in Annex II of the Forum Charter): in which way and to which extent have the objectives set out in the original commitment form been achieved in the reporting period?
All of UEG's activities sought direct interaction with EU-level politicians, policy makers, and NGO representatives. UEG has increased awareness of the impact of alcohol on overall human health in general and digestive health in particular among these target groups. Throughout all activities, this has been done by directly communicating latest scientific evidence and, in the case of the UEG Survey, by mapping concrete recommendations to policy makers in enhancing healthcare provisions. Outreach to the general public has been attained through complementary press releases as well as reports that are available on the UEG and EASL website for participants to events and other interested organisations/individuals.
Relevance (i.e. how did the commitment during the reporting period contribute to achieving the overall aims of the Forum - cf. section 3 of the Monitoring Commitment in Annex II of the Forum Charter)
UEG's commitment is contributing to the following goal of the EAHF:
"Information and education programmes on the effect of harmful drinking and on responsible patterns of consumption"

By communicating the potential damage alcohol can cause to the human body, UEG aims at making (EU) politicians, policy makers, NGOs, industry and the general public more aware/conscious of the potential damage that alcohol consumption can cause to the human body and in particular the digestive tract including the liver.

Furthermore, UEG works closely together with a large number of other European NGOs active in the EU alcohol research and policy field and exchanges and/or shares scientific input with these organisations and thus contributes to the spreading of information on alcohol related harm to the human body.
Input indicators (resources allocated to the commitment ("What was done to put the objectives into practice?") - cf. section 5a of the Monitoring Commitment in Annex II of the Forum Charter)
WDHD 2013 event
Organising the WDHD event cost UEG around 3,000 euros including all logistics. UEG experts invested around 45 hours in the preparation of their presentations and on-site presence in Brussels. The UEG Brussels Office spent most time on the organisation, the total amount of hours are estimated at 80 hours.

Presentation to the EAHF by Professor Matthias Löhr
Professor Löhr invested approximately 4 hours in making and presenting the presentation. In addition the UEG Brussels Office invested 2 hours of work in editing.

Colorectal Cancer Booth inside the European Parliament
The organisation of the Booth cost approximately 2,000 euros for the development of promotional materials, items for the booth and travel + accommodation costs for experts. The organisation of the booth cost 80 hours. The latter excludes 4 full days of on the ground presence of UEG experts and supporting staff from the secretariat and the UEG Brussels, which required another 30 hours.

European Parliament Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy
The work on the resolutions has cost the UEG Brussels Office 25 hours through the attendance of meetings, revising document, tel. conferences and direct contacts with MEPs.

UEG Survey on Digestive Health across Europe
The Survey constituted a major project of UEG that took 18 months to execute and was carried out in collaboration with specialist researchers from the University of Swansea (UK). Data from more than 1500 research papers and journal was reviewed to arrive at a comprehensive assessment and discern trends and policy recommendations.
Output indicators (measure from a quantitative point of view the results created through the use of inputs ("What was achieved with the resources allocated to the commitment") - cf. section 5b of the Monitoring Commitment in Annex II of the Forum Charter)
WDHD 2013 event
Number of participants: 35
Visitors to the conference website: 148 unique visitors

Presentation to the EAHF by Professor Matthias Löhr
Number of attendees: estimated 50 participants from NGOs, industry and the European Commission

Colorectal Cancer Booth inside the European Parliament
Number of participants during opening reception: 40
Number of fact sheets distributed (with key messages on the link between alcohol and colorectal cancer): 750
Total amount of visitors of the booth over a period of 4 days: 200 -250

European Parliament Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy
The resolution text was shared with all 71 ENVI Committee full- and 66 substitute members.

UEG Survey on Digestive Health across Europe
In addition to the official presentation of the Survey during UEG Week of October 2014 in Vienna, UEG organised a dedicated EU launch event in the European Parliament in Brussels, attended by 50 persons.
Outcome and impact indicators (how successful has the commitment been during the reporting period in relation to the original objectives - cf. section 6 of the Monitoring Commitment in Annex II of the Forum Charter. These indications go beyond the minimum agreed requirements to monitor a commitment, and it is expected that this type of evaluation will not be carried out for all commitments.)
Short term
WDHD
Awareness raising of alcohol-related diseases, in particularly liver cancer

Presentation to the EAHF by Professor Matthias Löhr
Increased awareness of the strong link between alcohol and digestive and liver diseases among EAHF members

European Parliament Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy
More awareness among Members of the European Parliament about the negative impact of alcohol on the digestive tract

Colorectal Cancer Booth inside the European Parliament
More awareness among MEPs and their staff about the link between alcohol and colorectal cancer
Medium term
World Digestive Health Day
More attention for World Digestive Health Day (mid-term)

European Parliament Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy + Colorectal Cancer Booth
More action by the European Parliament to ask attention for the strong link between alcohol and the digestive tract (and other diseases)
Long term
All actions
Official recognition/endorsement by the WHO and EU institutions of World Digestive Health Day

Reduction of alcohol consumption in Europe
Improvement of the provision of medical services by member states' public health systems, including measures to curb alcohol consumption
Other
Evaluation details (tools and methods used, internal or external evaluators...)
No official internal or external evaluation was conducted
Other comments related to monitoring the commitment (This section is to be used to add any other information which can be useful in terms of understanding issues relating to the monitoring of your commitment, such as, any major obstacles that have been encountered, sources of data used, etc. If the basic details of the commitment have been changed, this field is to be used to explain why and how they were changed.)
Please note that raising awareness for the link between alcohol and Colorectal Cancer was only one component of the booth and not the main focus.

The Resolution for a new EU Alcohol Strategy was ultimately turned down in the European Parliament. As of late 2014, a new attempt has been underway with the support of UEG and other stakeholder organisations.
Dissemination (How were the results of the commitment disseminated?)
All actions were accompanied by press releases by UEG and/or partner organisations.

In the case of World Digestive Health Day 2013, a distinct website was created: http://www.ueg.eu/news-press/news/news-details/article/wdhd-conference-report-slides/

The UEG Survey on Digestive Health across Europe was officially published and is available under: http://ueg.sagepub.com/site/White_Book/White_Book.xhtml
References to further information relating to the monitoring of the commitment