Since the economic crisis hit Europe, international investors have begun suing EU countries struggling under austerity and recession for a loss of expected profits, using international trade and investment agreements. This is revealed by a new report released today by the Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory. The investors – and the lawyers involved – are scavenging for profits amidst crisis-hit nations, providing a salutary warning of the potential high costs of the proposed trade deal between the US and the EU, which start its fourth round of negotiations today in Brussels.
A discreet but important lobbying battle is currently being fought in Brussels over the labelling of nano ingredients in food products. A European Commission text would completely betray a 2011 regulation by only labelling new additives. The Parliament is attempting to block their text which waters down the label requirements, while the food additives industry is lobbying to stop the Parliament; the vote is 12 March.
European commissioners have been reminded by ALTER-EU coalition of the need to avoid conflicts of interest which undermine public trust in EU policy-making, as they near the end of their term in office.
March 7th 2014Agribusiness
With the end of this Parliament's term approaching – EU elections will take place in May this year – it seems that agrichemical corporations and their allies are using the few remaining voting opportunities left to have a couple of usefully-worded resolutions voted upon by this Parliament, which they know well and which has generally been rather supportive to their positions.
A trade deal between the EU and the US risks opening the backdoor for the expansion of fracking in Europe and the US, reveals a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory and other groups. As part of the deal currently being negotiated, energy companies could be allowed to take governments to private international tribunals if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking and the dangerous exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels. Campaigners are urging the EU not to include such rights in trade deals.
As EU trade ministers and the European Commission are leaving for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations in Bali next week, a European alliance of over 50 civil society organisations is launching the Alternative Trade Mandate, a proposal to make EU trade and investment policy work for people and the planet, not just the profit interests of a few.
Vote for the Public Eye Awards 2014. Corporate Europe Observatory supports the nomination of bee-killer multinational companies Syngenta, Bayer and BASF, because of their products' terrible impact on bees and ecosystems and their aggressive lobbying and greenwash campaign to deny it.
Over 800 members of civil society walked out of the UN climate talks (COP19) on what was supposed to be the penultimate night, led by social movements like the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the Bolivian Platform on Climate Change, the International Trade Union Confederation, as well as NGOs including LDC Watch and Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, who were joined by household names like Oxfam, WWF and Greenpeace. The lack of progress at the talks – combined with the increasingly overt presence of dirty polluting corporations, not to say anything of their historically negative influence – led many to say ‘enough is enough’, walking out with t-shirts saying “Polluters Talk, We Walk”.
CEO has today published a leaked version of the European Commission's communication strategy for overcoming public skepticism about the controversial EU-US trade negotiations, the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The document was discussed at a meeting with EU member states on Friday 22 November. In order to "reduce fears and avoid a mushrooming of doubts", the Commission proposes to "further localise our communication effort at Member State level in a radically different way to what has been done for past trade initiatives".
What lessons can we learn from the US experience of a mandatory lobby register? As MEPs consider whether to opt for a mandatory EU lobby register, CEO analyses the myths and facts surrounding the US system.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.