Delighted to report the launch of Forest EU.
Yes, you read that correctly – Forest EU.
The project will be managed by Guillaume Périgois (above) who was formerly publishing director of Contrepoints, the largest classical liberal news website in France, and deputy director of New Direction, "the foundation for European reform". Prior to that he worked with trade associations, companies and think tanks.
Guillaume has a Masters degree in public affairs from the Political Sciences Institute of Bordeaux and a Masters degree in risk management from HEC Paris Business School. He's a French citizen who has lived in Brussels since 2008. We're delighted to welcome him on board.
The Forest EU website is launched today so you might want to pop over and check it out. More information and resources will be added before the official launch event in May.
I hope some of you will join us for that. In the meantime here's an edited version of our launch press release. You can read the whole thing here:
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union a smokers’ rights group founded in London in 1979 is launching a new chapter in Brussels.
The Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) campaigns against what it says are “excessive regulations” on smoking and tobacco.
Commenting on the launch of Forest EU, Simon Clark, director of Forest, said, “The war on tobacco has gone too far. Tobacco is a legal product yet smokers are being subjected to increasing attacks and restrictions on their habit. Enough is enough.
“Decisions made at EU level affect the lives of tens of millions of adults across Europe yet the revised Tobacco Products Directive, currently being enforced in member states, was introduced with very little engagement with ordinary consumers.
“As the UK prepares to leave the European Union we are delighted to be starting a new, EU-centred, chapter in our history. We will be bringing our trademark events to Brussels including smoker-friendly receptions and seminars. Our goal is to put consumers at the heart of the debate.”
Guillaume Périgois, director of Forest EU, said, “The role of Forest EU is to ensure that adults who don’t want to stop smoking are given a voice in Brussels and beyond. We intend to arm consumers throughout Europe with information and resources so they can engage with politicians and regulators at national and international level.
“The European Union has the power to set the agenda on smoking and other lifestyle issues. We hope that programme will focus on education not coercion. What we need is a liberal and pragmatic approach to tobacco that puts empathy above dogma and takes into account the views of ordinary citizens."
If you wish to follow Forest EU and receive occasional newsletters, click here.
To coincide with the launch of this new chapter in Forest's history we are also unveiling a new logo and brand identity for Forest UK and Forest Ireland. More on that tomorrow.