Kangaroo Group

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Background

Set up in 1979, the Group promotes free trade across the European Union and brings together an impressive roster of politicians, academics and business people.[1]

In 1989, the Kangaroo Group’s then director Pamela Entwistle, in a letter to British American Tobacco asking for support described its operations as:

...works both in the limelight and also behind the scenes; the limelight by publishing a bi-monthly newspaper Kangaroo News, and behind the scenes discussing Internal Market affairs with Government officials and National ministers, with the European Commission and in the Parliament. It has the one aim to function as a multi-party, multi-national platform to mobilise public and specialist opinion behind the completion of the Internal Market.[2]

Corporate membership at that time cost £3,000 a year.[3]

It continues to promote business interests to MEPs and EU civil servants through a mixture of corporate gatherings and information campaigns.[4]

Criticisms

Dr. Monica Horten, a journalist and expert on European internet and copyright policy, has described the Kangaroo Group as a "one of a number of groups which provide extra-curricular contact between corporate industry lobbyists and MEPs".[5]

A letter sent in 2011 from the Corporate Europe Observatory questioned the Kangaroo Group's use of EU Parliament facilities on behalf of corporate benefactors.[6]

Tobacco Links

In 2019, its tobacco industry members were listed as Barry Ronan from BAT, Mario Muller from the Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers, Alan Hardacre from Imperial Tobacco (previously Istvan Komoroczki) , Kristof Doms from Philip Morris International and Paolo Bochicchio from Japan Tobacco International.[7]

One area the Kangaroo Group looks at is smuggling, contraband and general threats to corporate property rights. As part of this it hosted a forum in 2011 on how to tackle tobacco smuggling.[8] The forum promoted a booklet The Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and How to Tackle it[9] published by the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC).The ITIC describes itself as:

"a non-profit research and education foundation. ITIC serves as a clearinghouse for information on best practices in taxation and investment policy, and as a training centre to transfer such know how to improve the investment climates of transition and developing countries, thereby spurring formation and development of business and economic prosperity". [9] It was written by Elizabeth Allen who spent 35 years with HM Revenue and Customs, mainly on tobacco issues.[9]

TobaccoTactics Resources

notes

  1. Kangaroo Group, [1], Kangaroo Group website, Accessed July 2019
  2. BAT, Letter from Pamela Entwistle to PM Bingham, 27 October 1989
  3. BAT, Corporate Membership Scheme of the Kangaroo Group, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, 27 October 1989
  4. Kangaroo Group, Events, Kangaroo Group website, Accessed December 2011
  5. iptegrity.com, EU Parliament’s Kangaroo Group hops onto ACTA, iptegrity.com, 10 October 2011, accessed July 2019
  6. Corporate Europe, https://web.archive.org/web/20190718103228/https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/kangaroo_group_letter.pdf Letter from Olivier Hoedeman to College of Quaestors], 21 September 2011, accessed July 2019
  7. Kangaroo Group, lasso Members, Kangaroo Group website, Accessed July 2019
  8. Kangaroo Group, The Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and How to Tackle it, 26 May 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 ITIC, https://web.archive.org/web/20190722124935/http://worldcustomsjournal.org/Archives/Volume%206%2C%20Number%202%20(Sep%202012)/12%20Allen.pdfpdf The Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and How to Tackle it], 19 April 2011