December 23, 2015

Philip Morris International Comments on the Advisory Opinion by the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice regarding the Tobacco Products Directive.

Today’s advisory opinion by the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice, which is not binding on the Court, offers an unusually broad view of authority under the EU treaties. An undeniable principle in those treaties is that the EU has powers to improve the internal market – not to disrupt it, which is what the EU’s recent Tobacco Products Directive would do. Rather than respecting such basic principles as genuine harmonization and free movement, the Directive inexplicably encourages a patchwork of regulations and disregards important limits on the scope of EU legislation.

To be sure, the EU institutions and the 28 Members States can and should strictly regulate tobacco products, but in doing so they must respect the boundaries that the Treaties and national constitutions establish. We therefore remain hopeful that the Court of Justice’s judgment, which is expected by Spring 2016, will enforce the balance that the Treaties require.