Advocate General dismisses German challenge to tobacco ad ban: now there is no excuse for law not to be fully implemented across Europe.



Tuesday 13 June 2006

ASH news release:  For immediate release:  Tuesday 13 th June 2006

 

Advocate General dismisses Germany’s challenge to EU tobacco ad ban: now there’s no excuse for law not be fully implemented across Europe

 

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has issued an Opinion today arguing that  Germany’s challenge to the European Union’s law banning tobacco advertising is without foundation. [1]

The German government had argued that banning tobacco advertising ran counter to the internal market of the EU and the Directive was not legally justified.  However, in the Advocate General’s view, the Directive has the opposite effect: i.e. it strengthens the internal market by removing the diverging rules and regulations on tobacco promotion that had existed across Member States.

 

Although the final decision rests with the Court, the Opinion is a very important indicator of the likely final outcome.  Since the EU Directive entered into force on 1 August 2005, all cross-border tobacco advertising and sponsorship of international sports such as Formula One should have been banned across the EU. However, some countries, including Germany, have failed to implement the Directive into national law. [2]

 

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

 

“The Opinion by the Advocate General today is a very significant development and demonstrates that measures which protect public health can be compatible with the Single Market function of the EU.

 

The UK  was one of the first countries to implement the Directive and has shown that sports and businesses can survive without tobacco sponsorship.  It is deeply regrettable that some Member States have not yet adopted the EU Directive, despite being legally obliged to do so.  We urge all EU governments to act on the Advocate General’s Opinion to ensure that all cross border tobacco advertising and sponsorship is prohibited.”

 

 

Notes and links:

[1]  The full text of the Opinion may be found on the Court’s internet site
http://curia.eu.int/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-380/03

[2] The following EU Member States have failed to fully implement the EU Directive: Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, Spain.

 

Contact: Deborah Arnott  020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available

 

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