The European Commission has circulated its proposals regarding ecigs to the EU Trilogue; this document has now entered the public domain. The Commission is one of the three 'groups' which make up the Trilogue; their roll is to oversee the negotiations between the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Is this now the moment when we will witness the death of democracy first hand?
My Mother once told me that if one had to descend to using bad language then one had already lost the argument. With this in mind I shall (attempt) to keep my use of English moderate, but if you want to know how I really feel about this outrage then just add the 'f-word' between every word written here!
Read Up on the Commissions Proposals
You may well have heard that the EU Commission’s proposal regarding ecigs amounts to a de-facto ban on ecigs as we know them today - they suggest that e-liquids and refillable cartridges are outlawed along with a strew of other idiotic and ill considered ideas.
I do not propose detailing all of the stupidities proposed, this has been done already by other commentators who are better informed and more eloquent than I. It is however important that everybody interested in vaping fully acquaint themselves with the Commission's proposals because by doing so, I am sure that we all will then feel obliged to act against them by any (legal) means open to us.
- They just don’t get it - Commission proposal for the regulation of e-cigarettes - Clive Bates
- The European Union ignores science and common sense by making proposals that will damage the health of smokers and vapers - Dr Farsalinos
- European Commission proposal for amendments regarding electronic cigarettes - .pdf
- Can you help me campaign against e-cigs being regulated as medicines?- Rebecca Taylor MEP
- European Commission proposes ban on all currently available electronic cigarettes - EU Reporter
- Next few weeks are crucial to tobacco directive outcome - Angela Harbutt
- European Tobacco Products Directive – Last minute attempt by the European Commission to introduce medicines regulation in all but name - Gerry Stimson
- No More Compromise - Josef K
- EU seeks 'ban on all currently available e-cigarettes' - Bruno Waterfield, and Henry Samuel
The above list should give you a good idea what the EU Commission have proposed, Dave Dorn’s You Tube video should inform you of the urgency to act.
Please Do Something About This Now
Chris Davies MEP, in a letter to interested constituents (that has since become public domain) said, with regard to the current Trilogue negotiations:
"It would help enormously if we could persuade David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to change their stance. We need them to tell other Governments that they are prepared to consider seriously the approach proposed by the European Parliament.
I am asking you to contact your MP about this to put pressure on the Government to change its approach. It will be especially useful if you are represented by a Conservative MP.
We want them to look seriously at the amendment proposed by the European Parliament. It meets there concerns about the need for regulation without introduction unnecessary restrictions.
They need to be reminded that it is tobacco, not nicotine, that kills 700,000 in Europe every year. And they need to be reminded also that this is EU legislation, and even if light touch regulation is applied in the UK in other countries the medicinal approach will be much more restrictive. We should try to prevent this.
Remember, MPs (like MEPs!) want to hear from their own constituents not from those living elsewhere. You can find out who your local MP is and how to contact them by visiting www.writetothem.com
Personal letters are most effective, with personal e-mails as back up. It was a single handwritten letter that I received from a constituent, describing how e-cigs had helped them cut smoking, that persuaded me to campaign on this issue.”
I have personally been a long time supporter of the UK membership of the European Union; I have to admit that I have never previously given much consideration to how the democratic process proceeds in the EU - I had just assumed it to be open, fair and democratic. As citizens of the UK we are blessed to live in a nation that has one of the oldest Parliamentary democracies in the world, because of this it is possible that we have become remiss in our duty to guard against none-democratic practices.
I always believed that although the EU commission was an unelected body of Commissioners appointed by the member states, its roll to ‘come up with the ideas’ was compatible with the democratic process because its ideas are discussed and amended prior to being presented to our elected MEPs in the EU Parliament. Once the EU Parliament had voted on a policy it also seemed reasonable that the elected Ministers from member states could also express their view in subsequent negotiations. It sounded OK too that the Commission would oversee these negotiations. This is basically the structure of the Trilogue who are shortly due to discuss the regulation of ecigs within the EU Tobacco Products Directive.
What I had not realised is that the EU Commission would ‘oversee’ these negotiations from such a ridiculously anti-ecig stance - ESPECIALLY GIVEN THAT THE ELECTED EU PARLIAMENT MEMBERS HAVE ALREADY DEMOCRATICALLY REJECTED ITS PROPOSAL TO REGULATE ECIGS AS MEDICINES.
So... the Trilogue consist of the EU Commission whose ‘proposal for amendments regarding electronic cigarettes’ makes their stance clear, the Council of Ministers whose national governments get advice from the likes of the MHRA who recommend that ecigs are regulated as medicines and the EU Parliament whose views are being mainly represented by Linda McAvan, who, prior to the vote EU Parliament that rejected the medicalisation of ecigs, was arguing for it.
Have I got this wrong? Please let me know if I have inadvertently got the wrong end of the stick - but it looks to me like the unelected EU Commission is pushing its agenda through an open door. This does not feel like democracy to me.
The EU Just Screwed My Christmas Blog
Today I wanted to write a warm and fuzzy blog about Christmas, the spirit of giving, charity and vaping but the EU Commission’s proposals put an end to my warm and fuzzy feelings. Maybe I’ll write about Christmas next time :-/
Please get reading the above links and then get writing to your elected representatives, now - if we all speak, they will listen.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent those of ECigWizard.