Sweden, the EU and the alcohol traveller’s allowances
2010 (English)In: Contemporary Drug Problems, ISSN 0091-4509, Vol. 37, no 1, 3--38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Restrictive alcohol policies have a long history at the national level in Sweden; however, with the accession to the European Union the international component of alcohol policy has become clearer, and the national policies have been eroded. Sweden had to abandon low traveller’s allowances and gradually adopt the considerably higher European levels by January 1, 2004. On the EU level the traveller’s allowances were an issue long before Sweden’s accession, and high allowances were a conscious way of forcing down high taxes as an instrument of harmonization. The purpose of the article is to analyze how the changes and the Swedish government’s actions on the traveller’s allowances issue have been understood. Analyzing this case contributes to understanding the major changes that have occurred in Swedish alcohol policy since the mid-1990s. Different narratives from interviews, official documents, and news articles make it possible to understand alcohol policy developments in Sweden in relation to the EU. The article finds that there are five main narratives which have been used to try to explain the development of the traveller’s allowances question: the Misinterpretation Explanation, the Double Accounts Explanation, the Impotence Explanation, the Humility Explanation, and the Optimism Explanation. The article also shows that the different narratives have developed over time, indicating a learning process among Swedish authorities on the functioning of EU policy processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 37, no 1, 3--38 p.
Sweden, alcohol, EU, traveller's allowances, narratives
Political Science Sociology
Research subject Political Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52414OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-52414DiVA: diva2:387360