Thursday, 5 May 2016

Petty regulators

I did a few interviews about the EU e-cig regulations yesterday. TRT World managed to get someone from the European Commission for Health - one Enrico Brivio - to defend the Tobacco Products Directive. You can see the video below. 

One thing that stood out for me was Brivio's claim that the e-cig regulations are a compromise between those who want a ban and those who a free market. The problem with this argument is that the EU is not forcing the countries that have banned e-cigarettes to legalise them, but it is forcing the countries that want a free market to bring in neo-prohibitionist measures.

As I said at the end, I don't think the EU should force the likes of Finland to repeal their ban. That should be a matter for the Finns. But either we have a common market or we don't. The current situation allows countries to be less liberal than the TPD requires but does not allow them to be more liberal.

The table is slanted. But let's face it, it's never really been about market harmonisation.

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