Dirk Hudig

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Dirk Hudig is a lobbyist who has links to the tobacco industry, according to documents from the Tobacco Archive.


His current employer, Fipra – Finsbury International Policy & Regulatory Advisers – claims to be “Europe’s leading and most extensive public affairs consultancy network advising clients on a range of government relations and regulatory policy issues.” The Fipra website gives the following details about Hudig’s professional life.1

  • Joined Fipra in 2001 as the first Chairman of the Fipra Group’s Representation in Brussels.
  • 1998 to 2001 Secretary General of the Union of Industrial & Employers’ Confederations of Europe (UNICE now Businesseurope) having previously chaired UNICE’s Committee on State Aid.

He has held several other posts including:

  • Chairman of the BIAC Environment Committee in the OECD
  • Secretary and later Treasurer of the Society of Chemical Industry Europe Committee,
  • Member of the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN) Programme Committee.
  • Former president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (honoured with an OBE by the British Government for this).
  • 1987-1998 ICI, National Head and Group Manager of EU Government Relations
  • 1970-1987 ICI, the UK Chemicals company, in various businesses within the group in Rotterdam, London & Brussels.

Hudig is a Dutch national and speaks English, French, German and some Italian.

Career with Tobacco Industry

In the mid-1990s, working for ICI and active as a lobbyist, Dirk Hudig was instrumental in the lobbying for tobacco-friendly legislation in the EU. At the time, British American Tobacco (BAT) was involved in the campaign to influence the European Commission’s decision-making on regulatory impact assessments. For this, BAT “relied heavily” on the European Policy Centre, which had set up the so called ‘Cost Benefit Analysis and Risk Assessment Working Group’ to campaign for corporate-friendly impact assessments.

The minutes of this Group’s meetings give a vivid impression of the network of contacts, and which member of the Group was to approach who to do a bit of lobbying.2 The European Policy Centre initiated the idea of the “Risk Assessment Forum” to assist with campaign for corporate-friendly impact assessments.

When president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels and manager of EU government relations at ICI (the UK Chemicals company), Hudig was a crucial player in the lobby for tobacco friendly legislation in the EU. He was a very active member of the above-mentioned European Policy Centre Working Group, and its minutes show he was key in approaching people in his network for the cause.

Hudig is mentioned as someone to turn to when in need of advice and good judgement. In the correspondence for the preparation of a April 1998 conference, the European Policy Centre advised BAT “both to increase the hard core of four companies and to increase the industry spread” to endorse the idea for the Forum.3 The note also says, ‘you may wish to contact Dirk Hudig before finalising it’ (i.e. the proposal for the Forum).

Furthermore, as a Dutch national acting at high corporate levels, Hudig seemed to have easy access to the right Dutch Government people, to approach them about the drafting of new Articles for the EU Treaty Protocol, as can be seen in the minutes (prepared by the European Community Office of Belmont of an early lobby meeting in Brussels on Cost Benefit Analysis.4

Aside from his Fipra work, Hudig still works on risk assessment in his role as the Secretary General of the European Risk Forum.5

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  1. Fipra, Dirk Hudig, undated, accessed September 2020
  2. See for instance ‘Cost benefit analysis and risk assessment working group’, Note of Meeting, 22 January 1997 or Note of Meeting, July 1997, or any of the other minutes of the Group in the Legacy Library of Tobacco Documents, accessed February 2011
  3. Letter EPC to BAT, Risk Assessment Forum, October 1987, accessed 28 September 2011
  4. Belmont, Report of meeting on Cost Benefit Analysis, 24 September 1996
  5. European Risk Forum, Governance, undated, accessed September 2020