Sveriges alkoholmonopol : Är det förenligt med EU-rätten?
Sammanfattning: Sweden currently has two monopolies, one that regulates gambling and one that regulates trade with alcohol. The monopoly on alcohol was tried 20 years ago in the criminal case against Franzén. Although the political goals of the alcohol monopoly has been mostly the same during the years, the global landscape has changed. The facts back then, may not be the same today. The ECJ has developed different doctrines in different areas on free movement within the European Union, the relevant area for the alcohol monopoly is free movement of goods. There are no hindrances for the existence of a monopoly, although there are certain requirements. These can be found in art. 28, 34, 35 and 37 TFEU which states that a monopoly has to be adapted in such a way that it does not hinder the free movement of goods within the European Union. Even though the articles forbid hindrance of free movement of goods the ECJ, as stated, developed doctrines in the area that to a certain extent allow such hindrance. According to Sweden the reason behind the strict alcohol policy lies in the protection of the public health. This is one of the highest ranking reasons, according to the ECJ, that can justify restrictions to the articles within the treaty. There is however a requirement for proportionality in such restrictions, the goal shall not be able to be reached with a lesser restriction in the area. In a comparison between the gambling and alcohol monopoly you can see that the reasoning behind the two are almost the same, they are both justified with social and cultural arguments. As of right now the gambling monopoly is under scrutiny as a reaction to the criticism from the European commission. It is suggested by a bill that instead of a monopoly there will be a form of licensing system for those who are interested in being involved on that market. Similar solutions have worked before, namely for the monopolies on pharmacy and vehicle inspection. It has been a long time since the monopoly on alcohol was tried in accordance with EU law, it is therefore very interesting to investigate if it would withstand another. How would the monopoly fare and what would a deregulated marked look like?
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