Jan de Grave / Director - Communications.
17/05/2013 | Society
The Brewers of Europe meets EU Health Commissioner and discusses landmark road safety partnership
Brussels, 17 May 2013: The Brewers of Europe, representing 4,000 breweries across Europe and already the lead committer to the EU’s European Alcohol and Health Forum, today demonstrated its commitment to tackling drink driving when its President met with the EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg to discuss the sector’s landmark three-year ‘Sober Mobility Across Road Transport’ (SMART) partnership with a road safety NGO.
The Brewers’ President Demetrio Carceller highlighted that the SMART partnership with the European Transport Safety Council is the first ever joint commitment, by a pan-European business association with a leading pan-European NGO, to the Alcohol and Health Forum. It will deliver guidelines, best practice, dialogue at national level and engage interested stakeholders, including through high-profile EU and national events.
“The pioneering SMART commitment with ETSC is the ideal way of building on decades of awareness-raising on drink driving by Europe’s brewers and partnerships at local, national and EU level,” said Carceller. “It is also a way for The Brewers of Europe to build on our role as the leading contributor, now with one hundred commitments, to the European Alcohol and Health Forum.”
Marking the launch of SMART at the Alcohol and Health Forum Plenary meeting, Graziella Jost, ETSC Director of Projects said, “We acknowledge that alcohol is a major risk factor on the roads, and we need cooperation from across the range of public and private stakeholders to further our commitment to tackle drink driving, including the road safety community, the public health and medical community, alcohol industry and others.”
The meeting between The Brewers and Commissioner Borg also saw Carceller present a progress report on the ‘European Beer Pledge’, launched in 2012. In addition to the SMART partnership, the report, assured by KPMG, outlined new activities since last year by brewers across Europe to increase consumer information, enforce responsible advertising and directly address alcohol misuse.
Carceller explained to the Commissioner that, “The progress outlined in the European Beer Pledge interim report shows that the EU’s multi-stakeholder, voluntary approach is working.” He added that “Europe’s brewers have listened carefully to what policymakers and citizens expect from our sector. We are committed to stepping up, meeting expectations and delivering results.”
Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers, who also attended the meeting, reaffirmed the sector’s commitment to the partnership approach. He said, “For some stakeholders, the brewing sector’s continued efforts and unwavering commitment to the EU’s strategy and the European Alcohol and Health Forum will never be enough. Hopefully, the pioneering steps we are taking will lead to all stakeholders fully embracing the partnership approach.”
Notes to editors:
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About The Brewers of Europe
For more than a half century The Brewers of Europe has been the Brussels-based voice of the European brewing sector towards the European institutions and international organisations. Founded in 1958, it has 28 members, comprising 24 national brewer associations from the EU, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Among the roughly 3,500 brewers across Europe, the vast majority are small and medium-sized, local and family-run businesses. 2 million jobs are created by the European brewing sector. www.brewersofeurope.org
About the European Beer Pledge
The European Beer Pledge is a voluntary initiative launched in February 2012 by Europe’s brewers to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm. Brewers commit to taking concerted and measurable action to improve consumer information, ensure responsible advertising and address alcohol misuse in line with the expectations of citizens and EU policymakers.
About the Beer Pledge First Year Interim Report
The European Beer Pledge should be reported on annually, to allow for a regular monitoring of progress but also further opportunities to identify, evaluate and expand best practice activities. This report constitutes the first year interim report on the European Beer Pledge’s implementation. Focusing on activities supported by members of The Brewers of Europe during and since 2012, this interim report represents a snapshot of initiatives carried out by brewers, through associations, companies and broad coalitions, in line with and contributing to, the implementation of the three pillars of the European Beer Pledge. For full report see: http://www.brewersofeurope.org/asp/publications/index.asp
About the Sober Mobility Across Road Transport (SMART) partnership
In the framework of the three-year SMART project the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) will:
- Publish a set of guidelines on rehabilitation programmes for certain categories of drivers convicted for drink driving. The guidelines will also be through a conference that will be organised in Brussels;
- Identify and publish case studies on best practice in addressing drink driving: these could come from, among others, individuals, companies, medical professionals, young people, NGOs dedicated to the fight against drink driving;
- Organise a series of six national events to highlight and debate strategies to tackle drink driving in specific countries;
- Organise a lunch conference addressing ways of reducing drink driving in the workplace;
- Publish regularly the ETSC newsletter ‘Drink Driving Monitor’, one of the best known and read ETSC publications. Each Drink Driving Monitor will be accompanied by the ‘Alcohol Interlock Barometer’, which provides an overview of the legislative developments related to the use of alcohol interlock devices in tackling drink driving.