• April 18, 2024

EU Commission Vows Tobacco Lobby Probe

 EU Commission Vows Tobacco Lobby Probe
Image: bluedesign

The European Commission said it would investigate the extent of its exposure to tobacco industry influence, following complaints about its inconsistent approach to tobacco lobbyists, reports Politico.

In April, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly noted that the heightened controls and transparency requirements applied by the Commission departments in charge of health and customs policies are not necessarily implemented by other directorates-general.

O’Reilly’s inquiry found that tobacco industry representatives met with officials from Commission departments in charge of agriculture, climate action, environment, trade, the internal market, among others. Minutes were often nonexistent of lacking detail.

Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control instructs parties to protect public health polices from the tobacco industry’s commercial and other vested interests.

The tobacco industry insists the Commission already applies this FCTC provision too broadly, noting that Article 5.3 does not prohibit discussions or engagement outright.