The Integrity Watch platform by Transparency International EU shows that between 2014 and 2018, only 13 tobacco-related lobbying meetings with the European Commission representatives were disclosed in the Transparency Register. Ten were with the industry representatives or the consultants hired by them, the rest with advocates of stricter regulations on tobacco.
Full transparency in lobbying by industries such as tobacco is especially important. The vast sums spent on lobbyists give the industry unequal footing that other stakeholders calling for stricter controls for tobacco simply cannot match.
In 2013 alone, Philip Morris International reportedly spent almost US$7 million (EUR 5.25 million) to lobby Members of the European Parliament as they deliberated on the EU’s Tobacco Product Directive.
Information provided by lobby groups through the EU Transparency Register – and available on Integrity Watch – shows that, in 2018, pro-tobacco organisations had at least EUR 4 million available for their lobbying work with the Commission, including EUR 2.25-2.5 million that British American Tobacco had estimated for its costs that year.
This is a sharp contrast from the mere EUR 25,000-50,000 registered organisations lobbying for stricter tobacco controls said they had available for the same period.