Research Handbook on EU Health Law and Policy
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Research Handbook on EU Health Law and Policy

Edited by Tamara K. Hervey, Calum A. Young and Louise E. Bishop

The steady expansion of the European Union’s involvement in health over the past 20 years has been accelerated by recent events. This handbook offers an up-to-date analytical overview of the most important topics in EU health law and policy. It outlines, as far as possible, the direction of travel for each topic and suggests research agenda(s) for the future.
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Chapter 15: EU public health law and policy – on the rocks? A few sobering thoughts on the growing EU alcohol problem

Oliver Bartlett and Amandine Garde


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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