Hubert van Breemen

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Hubert (Huub) van Breemen has been an advisor at VNO-NCW, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, since 1992.1 VNO-NCW’s Director General Niek Jan van Kesteren described the organisation “as one of the few friends of the tobacco industry” 2

Lobbying on the Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive

Van Breemen has played a key role in rallying wider industry support to help the tobacco industry undermine the revision of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). In December 2011 and January 2012, van Breemen organised two meetings hosted by VNO-NCW and Businesseurope that brought together European Industry Confederations and the tobacco industry to discuss the impact of the TPD .34 At the meetings it was agreed that three aspects of the TPD could potentially impact on other sectors (in particular the food and alcohol industries), notably:

1. Plain packaging

2. Regulation of ingredients (in particular the “overly broad” WHO definition of “attractiveness” was challenged);

3. Access in the retail sector (i.e. Point Of Sale displays and internet sales).

The group agreed to a common “horizontal approach” to lobby at national and EU level, raising issues with relevant officials as a whole-of-industry matter without any associations with the tobacco industry. Businesseurope committed to be active on these issues and emphasised that illicit trade should be a focus when taking action against plain packaging.

Revolving Door

Before working for NVO NCW, van Breemen spent most of his career in the Dutch civil service. For four years from 1977 he worked as an advisor for the Dutch Ministry of Economic. He then moved to the Dutch Ministry of Health where he was Head of Product Safety Department from 1981 to 1991. 1

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  1. abHubert van Breemen’s Linkedin Profile, undated, accessed 25 July 2013
  2. I.van Woerden & S. Braam, De laatste vriend van de sigaret, Vrij Nederland 24 July 2013, accessed 25 July 2012
  3. H. van Breemen, Notes from meeting December 14, on EU TPD (Tobacco Product Directive), VNO NCW Brussels, 14 December 2011, accessed 25 July 2013
  4. H. van Breemen, Notes from meeting January 10, on EU TPD (Tobacco Product Directive), VNO NCW Brussels, 10 January 2012, accessed 25 July 2013