Estonian civic associations in alcohol policy planning
Unlike other Northern European countries, Estonia´s civic associations have not to this point been active in shaping alcohol policy and alleviating alcohol problems.
Systematic analysis of alcohol policy is lacking in Estonia. The writer gives a short overview of the problems associated with alcohol abuse and the current state of alcohol policy in Estonia and describes the method used in the study, the sample formation and the primary study findings. The goal of the study was to determine how civic associations see their role in impacting alcohol policy and whether contributing to the dialogue on alcohol policy is even among their priorities, and also what is the readiness on the part of state representatives for involving associations in shaping alcohol policy. The author reaches the conclusion that at the moment that the state and civic associations are caught in a loop where alcohol policy is concerned – civic associations expect the state to hold project competitions and invite them to alcohol policy discussions; and for its part the state is critical of civic associations for being passive and the state wants more of an active approach to be shown from below.
Injunctions and prohibitions are associated with the former occupation regime and are not acceptable to society. That is why opinion formation and education work is emphasized rather than prohibitive measures, which by their nature are more controversial.