Celebrating the publication of the text of the new Tobacco Products Directive

Having followed very closely the preparation, public consultation and legislative process leading to its adoption, I am particularly pleased to announce the publication today of the revised Tobacco Products Directive.

Since its inception, the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive has attracted a lot of attention (as discussed here), that translated into record level of lobbying efforts. Yet if compared with the original working document launching the reform, the text published today appears as its full implementation. The Commission’s original ideas have blossom through the legislative process despite the heavy lobbying efforts against it.

This is a win for the EU public interest and a testimony of the good functioning of the EU policymaking system also on politically sensitive dossiers.

While the adopted text falls short to mandate full standardised packaging, it provides the sort of fully-fledged upgrade that EU tobacco control badly needed.

The 38 pages of the Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products can be found in the Official Journal of the EU of 29 April 2014 in the 23 EU languages.

EU Member States have to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 20 May 2016.

I expect that the directive will be challenged by one or more tobacco companies during the next 60 days.

I hope that the work I have done over the last two years to strenghten the legal text – via direct consultation and scholarship – might shield the directive from any validity challenge.