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Ministers of Health about the reducing alcohol related harm

Minister of Health, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, attended the European alcohol policy conference entitled "Alcohol Policy Conference - Building Capacity for Action" held today under the Slovenian EU Council Presidency in Barcelona under the auspices of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia in cooperation with Spain. At the opening session she stressed that alcohol is an important risk factor for cancer as well as for many other chronic diseases and injuries, and continued that “harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption causes more than 7 per cent of early morbidity and mortality in our countries.”

The Minister especially emphasised the problem of harmful alcohol consumption by young people, which cannot be controlled by education and activities within the health sector.

She invited the attendants of the conference to act, and pointed out that “success can only be achieved if we will complement each other's work.” The conference whose very title "Building capacity for Action" calls for action is a part of a wider project from the field of alcohol carried out by Slovenia with the support of the European Commission. The project includes 41 partnership organisations and is based on the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm.  The aim of the project is to reduce the inequalities among the Member States and to attain the Lisbon Strategy goals in the sense of social exclusion caused by harmful alcohol consumption and the stress on the important role of alcohol policy for a more capable and economically productive Europe.

By convening this conference, Slovenia wishes to make an active contribution to the improvement of capacities at the state, region and local community level with a view to effectively implementing programmes and policies to prevent alcohol-related harm.


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Date: 04.04.2008