Industry calls for transparency

| April 28, 2016

The Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers (CECCM) yesterday called for the EU’s transparency register to be made mandatory, and applied equally to all entities that come under its scope.

The CECCM describes itself as a non-commercial association that represents the common views on regulations of British American Tobacco, JT International and the Imperial Tobacco Group [Imperial Brands PLC].

“We are calling for a clear set of rules that should apply equally to any organisation lobbying in Brussels,” said Ronan Barry, the CECCM’s chair, during an event hosted in Brussels by the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly: Improving Transparency in Tobacco Lobbying.

Barry spoke from the audience because CECCM’s requests to participate in the panel debate were refused by the Ombudsman. There was no industry representative on the panel.

“As an industry, CECCM and its members support transparency,” Barry said. “We are fully compliant with the transparency register and code of conduct, which today is voluntary. In our submission to the Commission’s consultation, we will be calling for this to be made mandatory. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to transparency.

“We are opposed, however, to efforts to exclude industries and companies, selling legal products, from contributing opinions, arguments and facts to the shaping of laws, sometimes under the guise of transparency. It is the role of politicians to choose between competing arguments, and we are against any efforts to shut down politicians’ access to information from any party.

“Excluding any industry from discussion on laws affecting their business will only lead to bad legislation.”

Category: Breaking News

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