More points where you can purchase alcohol?

11 December 2023

IVO Research Institute, commissioned by the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP, investigated the arguments of the business community for increasing the availability of alcohol. The debate on the members' bill that makes it possible for alcohol to be sold and served in bookstores, clothing stores, hobby shops, hairdressers, etc. (in the Netherlands known as “blurring bill”) was examined. The arguments of health parties and other stakeholders have also been analysed.

The researchers used the concept of framing for their analysis. Framing is the way in which information is presented to draw attention to certain aspects of a policy discussion and make other aspects less important. It can be used by parties to steer the policy process in a direction that is favourable to them. 6 different frames in the discussions about blurring were analysed.

Three examples:
1. The blurring bill offers space for entrepreneurs and for “experience” to consumers
2. Legalizing blurring leads to better protection of public health
3. Alcohol is an ordinary commodity, selling and serving can easily be allowed

The researchers advise policymakers to make the influence of the interested business community on alcohol policy clearly visible. This research and various similar studies abroad show that in many countries there is a close, often difficult to see, bond between some politicians and the business community. One of the main goals of this collaboration is to prevent too many restrictions being imposed on entrepreneurs when selling and serving alcohol. The frame of the interested business community is that alcohol should be seen as a completely normal consumer item. This is to prevent alcohol from becoming as restricted as tobacco.


lodenstein---argumenten-en-framing-in-alcoholbeleid_1.pdflodenstein---argumenten-en-framing-in-alcoholbeleid_1.pdf (612 kB)


Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
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