Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Business Conference blocked

BusinessEurope Conference inside Commission's building blockedUnder the slogan 'Our Climate, not your business' a group of climate activists blocked BusinessEurope's conference in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission for one and a half hours. Police used pepper spray on protesters blocking the revolving doors, even though the police had already gained access to the building and arrested 24 activists before letting corporate lobbyists and other attendees in.BusinessEurope Conference inside Commission's building blocked
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Under the slogan 'Our Climate, not your business' a group of climate activists blocked BusinessEurope's conference in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission for one and a half hours. Police used pepper spray on protesters blocking the revolving doors, even though the police had already gained access to the building and arrested 24 activists before letting corporate lobbyists and other attendees in.

“I can understand that some more concerned citizens get angry when they see the positions taken by BusinessEurope,” said MEP Claude Turmes to the European Voice. EU institutions were convinced by BusinessEurope and other corporate lobby groups to seriously water down their climate package last year and are now letting their negotiating position for Copenhagen be influenced by them.

It was the second time BusinessEurope was given free use of a Commission building for a conference - a privilege not provided for other groups or environmental NGOs or trade unions. It is a typical example of the privileged access that the Commission gives to big business groups harming the democratic quality of its decision making.

The European Commission should once and for all stop this undemocratic practice of putting its premises at BusinessEurope's disposal anytime.

 

As many civil society groups walk back in to the UN climate talks today in Bonn after walking out last November in Warsaw [X], authors of the COP19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying [X], Corporate Europe Observatory, warn that unless we end the cosy relationship between political leaders and the dirty

Concerted lobbying from Europe’s dirtiest industries has resulted in the gutting of EU climate and energy proposals, it has emerged today.

They meet at birthday parties, over breakfast meetings, during cocktail receptions; so just how close are Europe’s dirtiest industries to senior politicians and regulators? And what influence is this lobbying having on the EU’s official climate change policy? These are the kind of questions we need to be asking as leaders from the 28 EU member states try to reach agreement on Europe’s climate targets for 2030. This scrutiny is particularly urgent because – as this privileged access might imply – these industries appear to have been extremely successful at watering down EU climate and energy legislation. Read the new briefing by CEO and Friends of the Earth Europe.
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 together with other groups. As part of the deal currently being negotiated, energy companies could be allowed to take governments to private arbitrators 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.
Scientific advice should be transparent, objective and independent, and there should be more science and more diverse expertise available to the European Commission’s President, a coalition of 28 international and national NGOs wrote in a letter addressed to President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today (1).
A few observations on the debate sparked by our open letter on the position of Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission, and on the need for proper scientific advice to EU legislators.
The position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission is problematic, concentrating too much influence in one person and undermining other Commission research and assessment processes. We ask Mr Juncker, the new President of the European Commission, to scrap the position.
David Cameron's nomination of a revolving door ex-lobbyist, Jonathan Hopkin Hill, as EU commissioner is bad news for Jean-Claude Juncker's newly-stated commitment to lobby transparency.

Corporate Europe Forum