EU Hemicycle blog ► Blog of Zoltán Massay-Kosubek (@EU_ZMK)

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We may not be so silly that we give up before the goal! The real issue behind the whole #Dalligate story is not the future position of a single Commissioner or our shaked faith in President Barroso but the failure or success of the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC)

(Source of the photo © European Commission audivisual service)

This is the real and the only question we should really focus on.

If the revision happened as expected, we would handle satisfactorily this crisis by neglecting its personal dimension and keep focusing on the most important stake: the Tobacco Products Directive.

If the revision failed then the conspirators would win whoever stays behind the forced resign of John Dalli or the recent brake-in into 3 anti-tobbaco fighter NGOs’ offices.

It is so simple. Either you get the point or the point gets you.

I am not saying that Dalli’s (or Barroso’s if it comes out later that the OLAF report and the whole procedure against Dalli was not well founded) personal fate is not a matter of importance. Of course it is.
They are very important persons shaping the EU’s future being at the top of the mightiest institution of the EU.

However, they are single men in a very complicated institutional and political framework, and with all due respect, they are only politicians whose political mandate would reach an end in 2014 anyway.

On the other side, there is a crucial piece of EU legislation which has been already suffered 1 year delay by the way. The Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) concerns a wide range of population from a public health point of view. It will have a real long term effect on the population of 27 Member States determining indirectly the life-quality of several generations.

Being an EU blogger I know very well that it is always easier to follow persons and the drama gets much more media attention than the faceless and dry facts. However, behind these ‘dry facts’, behind the possible delay of the Tobacco Products Directive, there are also thousands and millions. Don’t forget these people! Ordinary people desire also our attention not only the famous-ones.

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.” We simply shall be better than that!

As of today, both possibilities are still open. It is our responsibility if there will be a happy end at the end of that story.

I remain at your disposal.

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Related earlier EU Hemicycle updates:

44. Nuthsell analysis through a timeline of the Dalli-gate based on a video interview with the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy

43. What is the relevance of a break-in into the offices of 3 public health NGOs from a European perspective?

30. Why can I strongly recommend the inauguration/maintenance of ‘fat’ or ‘sin’ taxes?

29. Gondolataim a hálapénz-rendszerről a magyar egészségügyben

28. Mini Public Health Day – Second Part (2/2): Mental well-being under economic turmoil: suicides rates are just the top of the iceberg

27. Mini Public Health Day – First Part (1/2): ‘EMERGING AND RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES’ impressions from the STOA-AVIESAN workshop

23. Restructuring Health Systems: How to Promote Health in time of Austerity

21. The EU Health Strategy (2008-2013) reviewed by MEPs, the Commission and the Civil Society in order to make some useful remarks to the new Health Strategy (2014-2020)

18. Last But Not Least: Strategy for Strengthening the Rights of Vulnerable Consumers and the Democratic Function of the EP

16. Improving Patient Outcomes through Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) – Lessons Learned after the Policy Debate in the EP on 16/05/2012


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  1. Very interesting thoughtful and pointed.

    Many of the Public at Large are concerned that the whole issue was set up bu SNUS and their FRG compatriots to delay this Directive yet again. The real issue is that the “Smoking Gun” somehow connected to Silvio Zammut and the Lobbyists must have been filmed in camera and recorded (or was it?) and that there is still more to come from the Personal Exchanges.

    It is hoped that the Tobacco Directive will be brought in to play quicker now that this has happened.

    How else do we contact you other than these routes? We cannot find your email!

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