Swedish Match: Lobbying of EU Officials

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Swedish Match sells two types of smokeless tobacco: snus and moist snuff. Combined these products generate about 62% of the company’s operating profit.1
Due to a snus sales ban in the EU, the company cannot sell in EU Member States other than Sweden. The company’s main markets are Scandinavia and the United States.

Engagement with Commission Officials

From 2009-2014 the EU reviewed its Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which includes a ban on snus. Swedish Match unsuccessfully lobbied to have the snus ban lifted.

  • See Swedish Match for an overview of its strategy to undermine the snus ban.

Among other activities, Swedish Match directly lobbied European Commission officials during 2010-2012, when the revised TPD was being drafted in the Commission. Other times, the company used the brokerage services of Brussels-based public relations firm Kreab Gavin Anderson.
The information presented in the table below was acquired from freedom of information requests and a Parliamentary enquiry into ‘Dalligate’. Note that this list of meetings is not necessarily exhaustive.

DATE Lobbying Target Details
June 2010 Commissioner Hahn’s Cabinet Meeting between Kreab Gavin Anderson and Mr Zotti2
7 September 2010 DG ENTR Swedish Match presentation on the functioning of the internal market and public health3
5 October 2010 Commissioner Hahn’s Cabinet
Email request for a meeting to “brief you on the latest developments on this dossier”2
16 March 2011 Secretariat General Swedish Match and former MEP Karin Riis-Jørgensen meet with J. Nymand-Christensen, Director Better Regulation and Institutional Issues45
15 December 2011 DG SANCO Swedish Match sends DG SANCO email to share legal opinion of Professor Tridimas6
19 December 2011 DG SANCO Swedish Match, ESTOC, ESTA, and ECMA meet with DG SANCO. Swedish Match sends a follow up email to share information7
12 February 2012 Commissioner Hahn’s Cabinet Kreab Gavin Anderson arranges a meeting between Swedish Match and the Head of Cabinet, but Swedish Match cancels last minute due to Dalligate events, see email8
6 March 2012 Secretariat General Swedish Match and former MEP Karin Riis-Jørgensen meet with J. Nymand-Christensen4
25 May 2012 Commissioner’s Hahn Cabinet Kreab Gavin Anderson arranges for two lobbyists, one an advisor to Swedish Match, to meet with Commissioner Hahn’s Cabinet9
10 September 2012 DG ENTR Meeting between Swedish Match and DG ENTR, with a follow up email from Swedish Match providing snus marketing data to dispute a proposed ban on characterising flavours1011
18 September 2012 Secretariat-General and DG-SANCO Meeting between Swedish Match and two staff of the Secretariat-General, and one staff member of DG-SANCO4
12 October 2012 Secretariat-General Swedish Match sends a letter to request a meeting. This request was declined4

TobaccoTactics Resources

TCRG Research

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  1. Swedish Match, Swedish Match 1999 Annual Report, accessed October 2011
  2. abK.M. Soro, Email to H. Gambs dated 5 October 2010 18:44, subject: Mtg request on Baltic Sea trade next week
  3. Swedish Match, Email to DG ENTR dated 7 September 2010 1:42PM, subject: thank you for today’s meeting
  4. abcdEuropean Commission and OLAF European Anti-Fraud Office, Replies to the Questionnaire from the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament concerning the resignation of the former Commissioner John Dalli, 30 November 2012
  5. European Commission CV Jens Nymand-Christensen, September 2014, accessed April 2015
  6. C. Kindstrand, Email to DG SANCO dated 15 December 2011 2:42PM, subject: Matrix Insight 15 December final
  7. European Commission Health & Consumers Directorate-General, Minutes of Meeting with tobacco industry 19 December 2011
  8. C. Kindstrand, H. Gambs, Email correspondence between Kreab Gavin Anderson and Cabinet of Commissioner Hahn in February 2012
  9. D. Mueller, Email from Cabinet Hahn to Kreab Gavin Anderson dated 15 May 2012 16:46, subject: RE: Meeting with Mr Muller 25th of May 2012 at 15 o’clock
  10. Swedish Match, Email to DG ENTR dated 5 September 2012 4:05PM, subject: SV: Meeting with Swedish Match
  11. Swedish Match, Email to DG ENTR dated 13 September 2012 11:45AM, Subject: VB: infos