Alcohol consumption is both a heavily-embedded cultural tradition in European States as well as a persistent source of non-communicable diseases with significant knock-on consequences for public health. Oliver Bartlett and Amandine Garde assess several areas of the EU’s involvement in alcohol policy: Member States’ alcohol policies and their international health context; the Court of Justice of the EU’s discussion of these measures in the context of free movement of goods rules; and the EU’s specific policies on alcohol. The contrast with EU tobacco policy is stark. The EU Commission has failed to rely sufficiently on evidence when making policy, and the CJEU has not fully captured the complexity of interests taken into account by Member States.
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