On January 17, EPHA, along with three other civil society organisations, has joined forces to write an open letter to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The appeal warns about the failure of the European Commission to properly implement Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The letter, signed by EPHA, the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), Corporate Accountability International, and Smoke-Free Partnership complains 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), Corporate Accountability International, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the Smoke-Free Partnership.
We 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 online the minutes of these meetings. 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.
Photo source: Corporate Europe