New Index: The Czech Republic is One of the EU’s Most Free Country

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The Nanny State Index measures taxation on alcohol and tobacco and similar regulations amongst the 28 EU member states. 

It’s billed as a guide to the “best and worst places to eat, drink, smoke and vape in the EU.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Czech Republic topped the list as one of the most free countries in the EU. 

The biggest nanny state in the EU, according to the index of 2019, is Finland, followed by Lithuania. The UK is ranked fourth, Hungary fifth, Ireland sixth and Latvia seventh. These seven countries are considered the least free when it comes to overregulating.

The least of a nanny state is Germany, followed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria. All these countries, plus Luxembourg, Spain, and Italy, are considered the freest in the index.

The introduction of the smoking ban is the main reason why the Czech Republic loses its crown to Germany. Otherwise, however, it remains a largely free country when it comes to lifestyle. E-cigarettes can be advertised within the confines of EU law and vaping is only prohibited in a limited number of public places such as airports and public transport. There are no taxes on vape juice, food or soft drinks, and alcohol advertising is largely unrestricted except in some outdoor areas (eg. outside schools).

Taxes on beer and spirits are well below average for an EU country and there is no wine duty at all. There are no national restrictions on when bars and restaurants can stop serving alcohol.

Tobacco taxes, adjusted for income, are the second lowest in the EU. Cigarettes can be displayed in shops and bought from vending machines but the sale of alcohol from vending machines was banned in 2018.

You can find the full report here


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