Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The European Ombudswoman asks the European Commission for more transparency

The European Ombudswoman, Ms O’Reilly, today published a report on the links between the European Commission and the tobacco industry.

This report follows a complaint brought by an NGO which claimed the Commission was not meeting its obligations under the WHO's Tobacco Control Convention, concerning meetings between EU officials and representatives of the tobacco industry.

The Ombudswoman's inquiry concluded that "the Commission's approach to publicising such meetings is, with the exception of DG Health, inadequate, unreliable and unsatisfactory. In most of the cases, the Commission publishes information about such meetings only in response to access to documents requests or questions from MEPs. The Ombudsman found that certain meetings with lawyers representing the tobacco industry were not considered as meetings for the purpose of lobbying."

The Ombudswoman has invited the Commission to explain by 31 December 2015 how it will implement her recommendations. She has also requested an update on the Commission's intention to introduce a mandatory register of lobbyists.

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