EU Countries Raise Objection To Ireland's Alcohol Bill
Ireland has been warned by 14 European states that new proposals in the country's Public Health (Alcohol) Bill may be in breach of EU law.
According to submissions released to The Times, countries including France, Austria, Portugal and Italy raised objections to the bill, which proposes new rules on advertising, labelling, and the minimum-pricing of alcohol.
The Times reports that these countries said that the bill was 'a disproportionate response to the issue of alcohol misuse that would damage trade and discriminate against new products entering the Irish market'.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has also faced criticism closer to home.
Ahead of a government debate on the bill last month, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland hit out at the 'disproportionate' and 'ineffective' measures that the government is looking to introduce.
The organisation expressed concern about the unintended negative consequences of new advertising and labelling legislation, saying that it would create 'an anti-business environment'.
The Irish Wine Association also warned that the move could be interpreted as a 'barrier to the free movement of goods' within the EU, putting Ireland at odds with EU member states, many of which are wine-producing nations.
The bill is proposing the introduction of mandatory cancer warning labels on all alcohol products sold in the Republic of Ireland, meaning that companies would have to produce a specific label for the Irish market, as well as a minimum unit price, which is set to drive up costs across all price categories.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.