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eu tobacco consultation July 27, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , trackback

The Commission announced that it received more than 85,000 responses to its consultation on revising the tobacco products directive carried out late in 2010. In some ways it seems to have been an extremely successful consultation. The response was significant, and 96% of the responses were from citizens. But almost two thirds of the responses came from two Member States, Italy and Poland, and the Commission suggests the Italian response was a reaction to a citizen mobilization campaign which generated a significant number of standard comments. The Commission is not making the full set of responses available online:

Given the high number of contributions, it is not considered to be useful to release an online database of individual submissions.

This exercise raises other questions about whether consultations like this one really serve a useful purpose. The Commission writes:

It is difficult to draw firm conclusions from the outcome of the public consultation procedure. In general, opinions varied significantly between and also within categories of respondents. Arguments provided by respondents in the ‘free text’ sections of the consultation present a variety of different justifications for policy action.

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