In its 2007 work plan, the European Commission called for the development of standardised comparative surveys on heavy drinking, binge-drinking (episodic heavy drinking), drunkenness, context of drinking, alcohol dependence and unrecorded consumption, and for the development of a standardised methodology of cost-benefit analyses of alcohol policies to evaluate the economic impact of existing alcohol policies in the EU.
Currently, there are no standardised methodologies of patterns of drinking and of cost-benefit analyses of alcohol policies across the EU and EU Member States.
To develop standardized comparative surveys methodology on heavy drinking, binge drinking (episodic heavy drinking), drunkenness, context of drinking, alcohol dependence and unrecorded consumption, as well as public support for alcohol policy measures, and to develop standardized methodology of cost-benefit analyses of alcohol policies to evaluate the economic impact of existing alcohol policies in the EU.
Standardization will be based on systematic reviews and the views of expert panels, taking into account the differences in alcohol use, patterns of drinking and alcohol policy responses in the different cultures and countries of Europe, and appropriate for different age, gender and socioeconomic groups.
A dissemination and communication strategy will be developed to promote the use of the standardized methodologies by appropriate scientists, survey personnel, economists and public health specialists, in the expectation that better use of standardized approaches across Europe will lead to more informed and evidence based policy making to reduce alcohol's health and economic burden to Europe.
This document arises from the project Standardizing Measurement of Alcohol Related Troubles (SMART) which has received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Public Health Programme