Scotland politics

Minimum alcohol pricing: Position of Austria

Opinions of European Union member states on Scottish government plans for minimum alcohol pricing have been released to BBC Scotland.

Position of Austria on Notification 2012/0394/UK on the draft Alcohol (minimum price per unit) (Scotland) Order

From the legal point of view in particular, the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol must be viewed critically since a breach of EU law cannot be ruled out.

Austria wishes to point out the fact that, among other things, the minimum price for cigarettes in Austria was also abolished by the European Court of Justice in 2010 on account of its incompatibility with EU law.

Although a minimum price for alcohol appears welcome from the point of view of health policy, Austrian experts cast doubt on the fact that a minimum price, in itself, is sufficient for resolving the problems caused by alcohol.

Austria is therefore advocating an integrated approach.

The primary aim should be to motivate the population to adopt a conscientious approach to alcohol, by providing timely clarification and information, without establishing rigid legal provisions in this regard and restricting or taking away the freedom of choice in terms of consuming moderate amounts of alcohol.