Alcohol Labelling in the EU (cepInput)


In the EU, tens of thousands of people die every year as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Ireland therefore wants to be the first Member State to require a warning label similar to the one on cigarette packets for alcoholic beverages. The Centres for European Policy Network (cep) considers this so-called whiskey label to be sensible but argues for a uniform introduction in the EU.


"In view of the health, social and economic risks of alcohol, the Irish push should be implemented throughout Europe," says Andrea De Petris. The cep lawyer from Rome has examined the consequences of the Irish initiative with cep health expert Nathalja Nolen from Freiburg and cep economist Victor Warhem from Paris.


According to Warhem, European companies that want to continue supplying spirits and wines to Ireland will have no choice but to adopt the label in the medium term. Otherwise, they would have to do without exports worth up to eight billion euros per year. "In addition, according to unanimous scientific findings, alcohol consumption can cause massive damage to health. Against this background, a uniform label for the entire EU would be the most sensible solution", Nathalja Nolen emphasises. In her opinion, such a label would be an important contribution to health protection.


Warhem is convinced that other solutions would force smaller producers out of the market because they could not afford to produce different labels and tags. "A uniform label is not only in the interest of health, but also beneficial for the European internal market", De Petris seconds.