Vice Squad
Saturday, April 19, 2008

The introduction of smokeless tobacco snus, a popular product in Sweden and Norway, into US markets is proceeding apace. Snus isn't very popular in the rest of Europe -- or at least any notional popularity is ineffectual -- because sales of it are banned in the EU (excepting Sweden). [Surely we all recall that Norway is not in the EU.] Two years ago Vice Squad noted how snus was certain to doom the EU, thanks to Finland's Aaland archipelago -- historically, culturally, and linguistically Swedish, Aaland is none too pleased at not being allowed to sell snus, because of Finland's membership in the EU. And none of those Finnish EU parliamentarians represent Aaland.

Aaland is currently reflecting its sense of abuse over snus by threatening to vote against the EU's Lisbon treaty. (Recall Vice Squad's post from late March.) That alone would not keep the treaty from entering into force, as long as EU-member Finland (and all other EU members) do ratify the treaty. An Aaland rejection, though, would complicate internal Finnish politics, as it would have to be settled to what extent EU rules would apply in Aaland. Here's an article with some helpful background, suggesting that Aaland's principled position is one of opposition to prohibition (of snus) without (EU) representation.

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