Othmar Karas is an Austrian politician who became a Member of European Parliament (MEP) in 1999.
Relationship with the Tobacco Industry
Regular meetings with Philip Morris
According to leaked documents from Philip Morris International (PMI), Karas regularly met with PMI whilst the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was being revised. The documents show that PMI coded Karas’ position on TPD policy options as ‘green’, indicating that the company considered Karas' views on the TPD in line with those of the tobacco company.
More information on tobacco industry interference with the TPD revision, go to EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision.
Former Member of Staff Working for Philip Morris
Stefan Pinter, Manager Corporate Affairs Philip Morris Austria since November 2012, worked for Karas as “Head of Office/ Parliamentary Assistant" in 2004 and 2005. After leaving his position with Karas, Pinter held several public affairs functions in Brussels, before joining the tobacco company.
From 2010 to 2013, Karas chaired the Kangaroo Group, a group that has been described as “one of a number of groups which provide extra-curricula contact between corporate industry lobbyists and MEPs”. Its membership includes several tobacco company senior employees. 
- Philip Morris International
- EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision
- PMI’s Lobbying Campaign to Undermine the TPD
- Kangaroo Group
- Official website Othmar Karas (in German/English)
- European Parliament Biography Othmar Karas (in English)
- The revision of the 2014 European tobacco products directive: an analysis of the tobacco industry’s attempts to ‘break the health silo’, S. Peeters, H. Costa, D. Stuckler, M. McKee, A.B. Gilmore, 2016, Tobacco Control; 25:108-117
- Quantifying the influence of tobacco industry on EU governance: automated content analysis of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, H. Costa, A.B. Gilmore, S. Peeters, M. McKee, D. Stuckler, 2014, Tobacco Control; 23:473-478
- Philip Morris International, Friday sheet 15th June, leaked Philip Morris documents, accessed in October 2013
- Philip Morris International, EU Tobacco Products Directive Review 17 August 2012, leaked Philip Morris documents, accessed in October 2013
- Telekom Austria Group,Stefan Pinter Curriculum Vitae, undated, accessed January 2018
- S. Pinter, LinkedIn Profile, Linkedin.com, undated, accessed December 2013
- iptegrity.com, EU Parliament’s Kangaroo Group hops onto ACTA, iptegrity.com, 10 October 2011
- Kangaroo Group, Members, Kangaroo Group website, accessed December 2013