The European Commission's transparency obligations in the context of the forthcoming review of EU tobacco legislation
Case SI/1/2021/KR - Opened on Thursday | 11 February 2021
In the context of the upcoming revision of EU legislation related to tobacco products, the European Ombudsman wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to remind her of the Commission's obligations when it comes to the transparency of interactions with interest representatives from the tobacco industry. While some progress was made regarding the transparency of lobby meetings since a previous Ombudsman inquiry in 2016, the Commission still does not proactively publish all information on interactions between the Commission and the tobacco industry.
Related to this, the Ombudsman noted that the Commission had recently authorised a former Commissioner to take up a position with a communications consultancy, whose largest EU client is a global tobacco company. She urged the Commission to take all necessary steps to monitor that the former Commissioner complies with the conditions the Commission placed on his new role, one of thirteen post-employment occupations that the Commission has authorised for this former Commissioner.
The Commission replied, setting out steps it had taken in relation to the upcoming revision and detailing assurances received by the former Commissioner concerning the post in question.