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Report Raises Concerns About EU Transparency

A recent report raises concerns about the EU’s approach to transparency and inclusivity as member states challenge the Commission's stance on tobacco control

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A recent report raises alarming concerns over the transparency and inclusivity of the forthcoming COP10 meeting for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, says the World Vapers’ Alliance. Seven EU member states have expressed significant reservations regarding their diminished roles and the Commission’s deviation from established practices.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, stated: “It's deeply concerning that such pivotal discussions affecting millions of vapers and smokers across the EU might not reflect all member states' diverse views and interests. The Commission's evident anti-harm reduction stance starkly contrasts several member states that have been more progressive and successful with their harm reduction policies. These nations deserve to have their voices amplified and heard.”

According to a report produced by Politico, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia have jointly released a statement highlighting the Commission’s shift from the usual consensus-based approach to using Article 218 (9) TFEU.

This gives the Commission a more centralised role in the Panama negotiations, side lining individual countries. The countries stressed the success of the consensus model in the past nine sessions and regretted the lack of a detailed explanation for the change.

Additionally, these nations lamented the absence of an ambitious proposal for a working group focusing on novel products. The established plans regarding the EU's representation in FCTC expert working groups have also been questioned, with concerns about representation, rotation, and coordination among the 27 member states.

The EU had a real opportunity to assume leadership in smoking-cessation efforts by pushing for an ambitious and consumer-friendly harm reduction strategy. Embracing less harmful products such as vaping, nicotine pouches, and heat-not-burn products - which have already saved millions of smokers' lives - would be a bold step forward. Unfortunately, the EU still has a long way to go,” remarked Michael Landl.

The World Vapers’ Alliance says it, “amplifies the voices of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. Our members are vapers associations and individual vapers from all over the world.”

Michael Landl is the director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. He is from Austria and is based in Vienna. He is an experienced policy professional and a passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and the German Parliament.

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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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