Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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CEO supports today's strike in Belgium

The strike organised by Belgian trade unions today is a very important statement against the austerity policies that are currently introduced in Belgium and across Europe, causing social injustice and deepening the economic crisis. The unions very clearly emphasise the problematic role of the EU which, as the ABVV-FGTB union states, "forces the member states into a blind austerity policy". The strike happens on the day where EU leaders meet for a two-day summit in Brussels to agree on a new EU treaty that will take further sweeping steps in imposing rigid budget discipline and austerity policies across the continent. Strikes like the one today and other forms of citizens' protests are exactly what is needed to save European welfare states and prevent the crisis from spiralling out of control.

ABVV-FGTB statement on the strike of 30 January

The financial crisis and the rescue of the banks has distorted public finances. The rating agencies and financial markets are still footloose and undermine democratic decision-making.

Europe does not provide an appropriate answer, but forces the member states into a blind austerity policy. The Belgian coalition government agreement that was made in this context is unbalanced: it affects mainly the workers and those depending on social benefits. Those responsible for the crisis remain unaffected. A real vision for a recovery through environmentally sustainable growth is lacking.

At our request, the social dialogue with the government and employers has started, but it's too slow and inadequate. Therefore we go on strike on January 30.

We mobilize everyone on January 30th for implementing our sustainable alternative proposals and to protest against blind cuts!

 

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CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

The current struggle in France over labour law reforms is not just between the Government and trade unions – a European battle is waged. The attacks on social rights stem in no small part from the web of EU-rules dubbed 'economic governance', invented to impose austerity policies on member states.

This summer Greece's financial authorities fined 20 hedge funds for speculating against the Greek economy. Now, the main global lobby group for hedge funds is trying to tweak the EU's rules so they can have a free play in the future.

Civil society groups denounce the Commission's plan for a Capital Markets Union. No lesson has been learnt from the financial crisis, they say.
A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Nieber MEP over a possible conflict of interest.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour