"We promote freedom"



FOR Communication 17/2019: Alcohol, cigarettes, food and beverages - Poland is more restrictive than Germany and the Czech Republic

  • The Nanny State Index 2019 measures the level of restrictive regulations governing the sale and consumption of food, non-alcoholic beverages, alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes. The higher a country's ranking, the more restrictive the regulations.
  • Poland is still among the countries with strong restrictions and currently ranks 12th in the ranking. The improvement from the ninth place in the previous edition does not result from the liberalization of regulations in our country, but only from minor changes in methodology and deterioration of the situation in other countries
  • Once again, Finland proved to be the country with the strongest restrictions. Lithuania and Estonia ranked second and third in the Nanny State Index 2019, mainly due to new restrictions on the availability of alcohol.
  • The least restrictive country in this year's edition of the Nanny State Index was Germany, followed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria.
  • Restrictive legislation in EU Member States is increasing, but there are still wide variations in the level of restrictions across the EU. Most of the negative changes introduced in recent years for consumers are not due to EU regulations, but to the decisions of local politicians to increase the restrictiveness of national regulations.
  • "Although the index focuses on EU countries, the EU cannot be blamed for any of the new restrictions imposed on member countries in the last two years," stresses Christopher Snowdon, founder of the Nanny State Index.
  • The authors of the index do not find any correlation between restrictive regulations and life expectancy, the number of smokers or the level of alcohol consumption, as well as remind about various problems which generate overprotection of the state (black market growth, higher bureaucracy costs, lower innovation in the creation and development of products).
  • Paternalistic regulations harm consumers in the first place, leading to higher prices (e.g. through higher taxes), stigmatisation of some consumers, restriction of freedom of choice, inconvenience in shopping (e.g. as a result of limited days and hours of sale), poorer access to information (e.g. as a result of advertising bans) or deterioration in the quality of products.


Marek Tatała, vice-president