Nanny State Index 2023

31 May 2023

Germany has taken the top spot as the freest country in Europe once again, with the least amount of nannying regulations like banning, taxing, and regulating food & soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, and e-cigarettes. Czechia and Italy come as a close second and third when it comes to liberal attitudes towards their citizens’ lifestyle choices.

A new addition to the Index, Turkey, is currently the least free country in Europe when it comes to lifestyle regulations. Norway and Lithuania have taken the second and third worst spots in this year’s Index.

The Nanny State Index has been tracking lifestyle regulation across Europe since 2016. The latest edition of the Index has seen governments expanding the scope and volume of restrictions on consumer choice, with new regulations and taxes on various food and soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, and e-cigarettes. There are only isolated examples of reversing nanny state policies, like Norway repealing its tax on sugary food and drinks, but the overall trend across Europe is towards more regulation and government intervention. This is despite all the evidence pointing to no benefits of nanny state regulations on health outcomes.

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EPICENTER publications and contributions from our member think tanks are designed to promote the discussion of economic issues and the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. As with all EPICENTER publications, the views expressed here are those of the author and not EPICENTER or its member think tanks (which have no corporate view).

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