Programme

9.30 – 10.00: Registration 

10.00 – 10.20: Presenting the Nanny State Index 2017

The new ranking of the Nanny State Index is published! Chris Snowdon, the main researcher behind the index, will go through the newly announced index and look at the rankings in the four different categories. He will also briefly explain the methodology and motivation behind this project.

10.20 – 11.00: What can we conclude from the Nanny State Index 2017?

Finland, Sweden and the UK were Europe’s biggest nanny states across most categories in 2016. What makes top nanny state countries different? What has changed since the publication of NSI in 2016? Why? Can we detect a trend after two years of this project?  What have the policy outcomes been and have they resulted in healthier populations? The Index shows little correlation between countries of similar geographic location or economic performance and their ranking. Germany and the Czech Republic were the smallest nanny states across all categories by quite a significant margin last year. Has less regulation led to poorer health outcomes or higher levels of consumption? What are the policy implications of this?

11 – 11.30: Networking break

11.30 – 12.45: Does Regulation work?

Does regulation work and what evidence is there to support this? Are current regulations making us healthier and, if not, what impact are they having. This session will look at some regulations that have been tried, assess the success of the regulation, and consider the reasons for the success – or failure. What are the regulations, what has the impact been on the consumer and what can we learn from this moving forward? This session addresses three main areas related to regulation. 1.) Taxation 2.) Product Labelling 3.) Retail & branding policies.

12.45 – 14.15: Euractiv Lunch & Forum Discussion

Euractiv, one of the most influential news sources in Brussels, will hold its Forum Discussion during our conference. The seated lunch will feature a high-level Commission representative and Christopher Snowden, the NSI’s main researcher being interviewed by Frédéric Simon and the audience. Please note that a separate registration is necessary for the lunch. 

14.15 – 15.00: The Unintended Consequences of Regulation

A study by EPICENTER member the Lithuanian Free Market Institute shows that higher taxes, heavy regulation and prohibition on products within the formal sector drive the prevalence of shadow economies. Is it possible to have high prices and heavy regulation without consumers looking for other legal and illegal sources? Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce taxes on sugar and food with high saturated fat content, but both were abandoned soon after. Why did it not work and can it be done differently? 

15.00 – 15.30: Networking break

15.30-15.45: Gunnar Hökmark MEP delivering his keynote speech

15.45 – 16.30: Alternative Solutions

Are there ways to achieve public health aims other than through regulation? What are they and what is being used elsewhere? Is there any evidence to suggest that these alternative solutions are more effective than regulation? This session will also look at the Precautionary Principal and will consider whether the current framework actually discourages innovation in these areas and alternative solutions outside of government regulation. If this is the case, what can be done to ensure that the EU is an area open to innovation and alternative solutions in the future?

16.30 – 16.45: Closing Comments

16.45 – 17.45: Drinks Reception