Commission denies PR own goal over redacted trade documents

The European Commission has denied that its decision to redact huge swathes of documents detailing meetings with Big Tobacco companies had been a public relations disaster.

Commission Secretary-General Catherine Day only granted “partial access” to the documents which were about discussions over trade between the executive and firms.

The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a NGO, used EU freedom of information law to ask for the documents. Among them was a 14 page letter from British American Tobacco, which was almost entirely blacked out and a separate one page summary of a Philip Morris meeting that even removed the date.

The move attracted criticism from campaigners, MEPs, the media and the European Ombudsman.

Subscribe to our newsletters