EU Ombudsman to investigate undisclosed tobacco lobbying.
The EU Ombudsman has launched an investigation into allegations that undisclosed meetings took place between the Tobacco Industry and the Commissioner Jose Manual Barroso, the current President of the European Commission.
John Dalli, the original Commissioner for the Tobacco products Directive was forced to resign over similar allegations.
All MEPs and members of the EU Parliament must abide by the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and must publish online lists of all meetings held with Tobacco Industry representatives, along with minutes of their meetings.
The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) have, according to the online journal Euractive.com, found mismatches between alleged meetings, and that Barroso has not disclosed all meetings with the tobacco industry.
The Tobacco products Directive (TPD) has been embroiled in scandal since John Dalli was forced to resign over allegations of bribery, where it was alleged for a sum of 60 million Euros, he would overturn the Snus ban. Other scandals re the TPD include it being rushed through and major changes to Article 18; now Article 20. The changes that took place behind closed doors were all related to electronic cigarettes, and were radically different to the Article 18 that the MEPs had voted through in Plenary.
Commissioner Barroso has until the 30th of September to answer the allegations.
Following the discoveries, the CEO demanded clarification from the president of the Commission and the secretary general, Catherine Day. Both sent “unconvincing replies”, Hoedman argued.
“Barroso’s reply to us showed that the Commission doesn’t take the UN rules seriously even though it is a signatory of that treaty. Catherine Day repeated the same line in her correspondence with us and at the hearings in the European Parliament."
The CEO then decided to take the matter to the EU Ombudsman, hoping for clarification and more thorough explanations.
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