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This article is part of our special report Regulating consumers?.
Fred Cyrus Roeder is Managing Director at the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), an organisation fighting for consumer choice in over 100 countries across the globe.
Europeans live in an age of access to information and education unrivalled in history.
Digital services offer consumers the opportunity to have more information about products they consider buying. While this leads to more consumer empowerment and more-informed decisions, public health advocates keep pushing governments across Europe to implement stricter limitations of people’s lifestyle choices.
Such limitations of choice are not just bad for consumers, but also often infringe on the basic principles of the Four Freedoms within the European Union.
A series of recently introduced bills shows how several EU member states have shifted more and more towards paternalism and governments have stopped trusting their own citizens’ abilities to make decisions on what to eat, drink, and smoke.