"I have never favoured a nanny state attitude, the over regulation of our citizens, of dictating to anyone on what anyone can or cannot do...but the one area I can make an exception is the tobacco industry...She was speaking at a closed conference organised by the Smoke Free Partnership and supported by Pfizer. The event was called "The role of article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in protecting public policy from tobacco industry influence" which refers to the way in which the health fascists wish to direct future policy making. By barring the affected parties from putting their position to policy makers.
By 2025 it should be illegal to sell tobacco products in the EU. That would give 15 years notice for all our citizens to realise just how serious we arer about not allowing the continued sale within the EU and hopefully elsewhere of products... that may be legal but are not legitimate".
The key bit is 5.3 which states,
"3. In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law".
What this means in effect is that politicains and civil servants should be protected from the tobacco and assocaited industruies - such as the hospitality industry when legislating or implementing tobacco control policies. The net result of this being that if a local publican wants to put up a lean-to, to protect his customers from the rain he needs planning permission. He may well be barred from lobbying his local council's planning department as the individuals there will be involved in implementing the tobacco ban.
At the Conference the Commissioner Vassiliou said,
"All public health policies with regard to tobacco control have to be effectively protected from the interests of the tobacco industry. My first consideration is that this this obligation cannot be fullfilled if the scope of the guidelines are not broad enough. All the actors in both the setting and the implementation tobacco Control policies should be bound by this obligation. To refer to our own environment for instance it would not make much sense if only the Commission were to act in that sense. Following any Commission proposal tobacco control policies are discussed, amended and adopted through the European legislative procedures with the Parliament and the Council, and these institutions should also act in accordance with the guidelines once adopted. The same should apply to all those involved in the implementation of the tobacco control policies.... The scope of the furure guidlines is therefore a key aspect. It needs to be as comprehensive as possible in order to have a real impact...
So the ban on contacts should spread across all public policy,
Let me also move a step forward. As Commisioner for health I am ready to commit today not to accept any invitation coming from the tobacco industry or those working to preffer its interest while I hold this office.... the ultimate goal of making tobacco use a thing of the past."
OK, that is your personal comittment Commissioner. But you are not a private person, you are an EU official, unelected remember, and and a civil, my servant. And I believe you are a bound by The EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. Which states quite clearly,
Equality before the law
Everyone is equal before the law.
Meaning exactly what it says, no individual or group of individuals may be singled for different treatment. This is backed up elsewhere in the Charter here for example,
Article 11, Freedom of expression and information. Para 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Got that Commissioner. Whithout interference by public authority
Article 41, Right to good administration. Para2. This right includes: the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken.
You might think that tobacco control legislation might be harmful tothe tobacco industry, its representatives and supporters, likewise the hospitality industry. You do not have the right to make the commitment that you have made.
So what's it gouing to be, health facism or human rights?