Trends in Alcohol Consumption in the EU Countries
All indicators of alcohol consumption show unanimously that the EU is the region with highest alcohol consumption and, in many cases, also with highest alcohol-related harm in the world. In the 1993 edition of a compilation of statistics on world alcohol consumption (World Drink Trends 1993, p. 7), the top four countries came from the EU. Among the top 15 countries, there were 10 EU countries. Only Ireland and the United Kingdom belonged to the middle category, occupying the 20th and 21st places in the alcohol consumption statistics. Only recently, the leading position of the EU countries has become challenged, as the somewhat unreliable estimates of alcohol consumption in some
ex-socialist countries exceed the present top consumption figures of France, the leading country (see e.g. Strazdins 1994, Subata 1994, and Lehto and Moskalewicz 1994).