Editorial of Gilles Nicolas, Deputy Mayor of Nantes and Efus vice-president

« Towards a common European policy on binge drinking issues? »

Whilst the binge drinking phenomenon – or massive alcohol consumption – takes its roots in the UK, today, all around Europe, an increasing number of local authorities are concerned with a high level of  physical, and material problems related to heavy drinking. How can we find better answers to the health and safety challenges raised by these heavy-drinking episodes? How can we combine partying practices with the prevention of risks and excess in the public space ? How can we combine a vibrant nightlife with the citizens’ tranquility ? How can we bring together all the partners: NGO’s, institutions, the alcohol industry… to promote a responsible partying behaviour ? How can we combine human presence during late hours and technical management of the nightlife?

 

These questions have guided the exchanges of practice and expertise of 10 large European cities, during the project “Safer Drinking Scenes” since January 2011. This project was lead by the French Forum for Urban Security together with the European Forum for Urban Security and supported financially by the European Commission.

 

During the project, we worked on two major aspects : the risks in terms of health entailed by these behaviours and especially the victim’s vulnerability; but also the management of public disorder caused by excessive alcolhol consumption. If our aim was to understand the phenomenon, our major concern was to find a balanced answer to the consequences of binge drinking.

 

As a partner of this project, and considering our strong involvement in the fight against heavy drinking, the city of Nantes wanted to welcome the final conference of the project which will take place from the 13th to the 14th of June 2013.

 

Building on the activities carried out since 2011, this European conference will be a good opportunity to find common approaches to promote prevention of excessive alcohol consumption of young people in public spaces at the European level. Recommendations have been developped to support elected officials and local stakeholders who are exposed daily to this phenomenon.

 

I hope to welcome many of you for these two days of rich debates so that, together, we might work towards a balanced policy, bringing together public health, public tranquility, without ruining the party …

 

Mr. Gilles Nicolas

Deputy Mayor of Security and Public Peace, Nantes

Vice-President of Efus

Partner of the “Safer Drinking Scenes” project

 

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This post is also available in: French