Tobacco agreement (PMI agreement)
Question for oral answer O-000018/2016
to the Commission
Ryszard Czarnecki, on behalf of the ECR Group
Four cooperation agreements are currently in force between the Member States and the EU and, respectively, 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 this cooperation agreement should be renewed.
For years and particularly since May 2015, the Commission has been postponing the publication of the assessment related to the PMI agreement. This agreement is due to expire in less than six months’ time, and the European Parliament, the unique directly elected body, has not been informed properly so far. 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 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 its 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, given that any further postponement could be seen as a violation of the promise made by the Commissioner to Parliament to deliver the assessment on time?
2. What are the main results achieved under the current agreements with the tobacco manufacturers? What setbacks have occurred? What is the position of the Commission as to the added value of renewing the current agreements?
3. What is the state of play of the negotiations? What schedule is foreseen? When and how will Parliament be informed?
4. What have proved to be the financial implications for the Union and the Member States, including fines, over the period in which the agreements have been in force?