Parliamentary question - O-000017/2016Parliamentary question

Tobacco Agreement (PMI agreement)

Question for oral answer O-000017/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Michael Theurer, on behalf of the ALDE Group

Procedure : 2016/2555(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
O-000017/2016 (B8-0113/2016)
Texts adopted :

Four Cooperation Agreements are currently in force between the Member States, the EU and Philip Morris International (PMI), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL) and British American Tobacco (BAT). The agreement with PMI is due to expire in July 2016 and requires the parties to meet soon with a view to exploring whether the cooperation agreement should be prolonged.

For years, and particularly since May 2015, the Commission has been postponing the publication of the assessment related to the PMI agreement. The PMI agreement is due to expire in less than six months and the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body, has still not been properly informed. This is democratically unacceptable. European citizens must be made aware of the Commission’s point of view on the possibility of renewing the PMI agreement and on the ongoing back-door negotiations between the Commission and the PMI.

1. When will the Commission provide Parliament with the assessments requested by Parliament on 3 April 2014 (see Parliament’s own-initiative report on the ‘Annual Report 2012 on the protection of the EU’s financial interests’ and Parliament’s discharge resolution in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012)? What has caused this substantial delay in providing the assessment? Any further postponement could be seen as a violation of the promise made to Parliament by the Commissioner to deliver the assessment on time.

2. What are the main results achieved under the current agreements with the tobacco manufacturers? What are the setbacks? What is the Commission’s position as to the added value of renewing the current agreements?

3. What is the state of play of the negotiations? What schedule is expected? When and how will Parliament be informed?

4. What have the financial implications for the Union and the Member States been, including fines over the period of the agreements?

5. What is the Commission’s proposal for the purpose and distribution of the financial benefits from any future agreement?