Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Health and transparency NGOs demand Commission implements UN tobacco lobbying rules

  • Dansk
  • Nederlands
  • English
  • Suomi
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Ελληνικά
  • Italiano
  • Bokmål
  • Polski
  • Portuguese
  • Română
  • Slovenščina
  • Español
  • Svenska

Transparency, public health and tobacco control NGOs have today written to EU Commission President Barroso to complain about Commission officials having undisclosed meetings with tobacco lobbyists, in violation of UN rules. The undisclosed meetings are particularly controversial in the context of the Dalligate tobacco lobbying scandal, which led to the resignation of Commissioner Dalli under unclear and contested circumstances. There is growing discontent with the Commission's handling of the case, including its refusal to answer key questions about what happened in the scandal.

The letter is a joint initiative of the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) -CEO is a member of this coalition-, Corporate Accountability International, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the Smoke-Free Partnership. The NGOs call upon Barroso to ensure that the European Commission, as a whole, properly implements Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). This should include listing the meetings it has with tobacco industry lobbyists, and publishing the minutes of these meetings, online. Implementing the UN treaty's guidelines for interacting with tobacco industry interests also requires changes to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, the Staff Regulations and the Transparency Register.

Beyond insisting that the Commission must implement its UN commitments for regulating contacts with tobacco lobbyists, ALTER-EU advocates a review of the Commission's rules around lobbying. Unfortunately the European Commission has so far rejected the need for better rules. Last month ALTER-EU received a very disappointing response to a letter sent to Commission President Barroso with proposals for improved transparency and ethics rules.

ALTER-EU reacted by launching an online petition to end the secrecy around “Dalligate” and improve lobbying transparency, which has so far been signed by more than 3,500 citizens from across Europe.

 
The position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission is problematic, concentrating too much influence in one person and undermining other Commission research and assessment processes. We ask Mr Juncker, the new President of the European Commission, to scrap the position.
David Cameron's nomination of a revolving door ex-lobbyist, Jonathan Hopkin Hill, as EU commissioner is bad news for Jean-Claude Juncker's newly-stated commitment to lobby transparency.
OLAF's supervisory committee has sent CEO its 29-page report, so far treated as confidential, on the anti-fraud agency's handling of the investigation that led to the forced resignation of EU health commissioner John Dalli (Opinion 2/2012).
The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has now confirmed that she will investigate the European Commission's failure to properly implement UN rules for contacts with tobacco lobbyists, following a complaint submitted by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).
There has never been a more important time to ensure that the EU's top decision-makers are free from possible conflicts of interest.
The position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission is problematic, concentrating too much influence in one person and undermining other Commission research and assessment processes. We ask Mr Juncker, the new President of the European Commission, to scrap the position.
David Cameron's nomination of a revolving door ex-lobbyist, Jonathan Hopkin Hill, as EU commissioner is bad news for Jean-Claude Juncker's newly-stated commitment to lobby transparency.
Do you wonder which businesses are pushing most for the proposed EU-US trade deal TTIP? Or where they come from? And who has most access to EU negotiators? CEO’s at-a-glance info-graphics shine a light on the corporate lobby behind the TTIP talks.

Corporate Europe Forum