General support for PMI agreement

| April 18, 2016

If the European Commission decides to renew an anti-smuggling agreement with Philip Morris International, it is likely to get the go ahead from EU capitals, according to an euobserver story.

In a resolution agreed on March 9, members of the European Parliament urged the Commission not to renew its agreement with PMI, which has been in place since 2004 but which is due to expire in July.

Officially, the European Parliament does not have a say on whether or not the deal should be renewed. However, the European Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis had said that he also was against maintaining the partnership.

Later in the month it emerged, however, that Margarete Hofmann, policy director of the EU’s anti-fraud office, OLAF, had sent a briefing paper to political advisers in the European Parliament on March 7 stating that the existing agreements with the four major tobacco companies were the ‘best instruments’ to combat cigarette smuggling at the international level.

Last week, the euobserver reported that it had asked diplomatic sources in each member state about the possible renewal of the agreement and that sources from half of the 28 states had responded. Eastern EU states generally expressed straightforward support of continuing the EU-PMI deal, with only Estonian sources saying their country would oppose a renewal or extension.

Some countries said they would make a decision based on how the EU commission presented a proposed renewal, but most countries said they were, in principle, in favour of continuing the agreement, or did not have strong objections.

“Although we don’t have any specific details so far, we could say that Greece, as many other countries, would not oppose … an extension/renewal of the agreement,” said a Greek diplomatic source, adding that the current deal had shown “positive results” in the fight against tobacco smuggling.

Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.