Industry Exclusion from the policy process in Ireland and Europe.
Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its non-binding guidelines call for openness and transparency in any dealings between regulators and the tobacco industry and connected stakeholders.
It does not advocate total industry exclusion from the regulatory process or from dealing with those authorities tasked with regulating the tobacco industry in Ireland or Europe as this would be contrary to the better regulation principles of the OECD, EU and UN which calls for the inclusion of all stakeholders in any regulatory process.
Two of the guiding principles within the non-binding 5.3 guidelines state;
- Parties when dealing with the tobacco industry or those working to further its interests should be accountable and transparent.
- Parties should require the tobacco industry and those working to further its interests to operate and act in a manner which is accountable and transparent.
ITMAC firmly believes that all interactions between Government and various stakeholders and vested interests should always be conducted in an open and transparent manner .
“…it is important to underline that the WHO Guidelines for the implementation of Article 5.3 of the FCTC are not binding. Parties are encouraged to follow them to the extent possible… Those Guidelines contain no specific compulsory requirements on holding meeting or on the publicity of such meetings.”
“The way that we operationalise those treaty obligations in this country is that we invite tobacco companies, wherever possible, to correspond with the Department of Health and we respond in writing as well. In that way we can maximise transparency of the dealings that we have with tobacco companies. Of course, the way that we interact with tobacco companies would also be disclosable under freedom of information.”
Tobacco Programme Manager
UK Department of Health
It appears to us as if the principle of Article 5.3 is being twisted by the tobacco control community to convince the Government that they must not engage with us.
Article 5.3 does not require Government to stop engaging with the tobacco industry it only requires that any such engagement is open and transparent.