Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Corporate EUtopia - how new economic governance measures challenge democracy

The year 2011 may mark a watershed in the history of the European Union. Using the pretext of the “euro crisis”, the European Commission and the Council have put forward proposals to give the EU new powers to deal with core welfare issues, including social benefits and wages, under a new technocratic procedure – hard (if not impossible) to track, let alone influence by those who stand to lose out.

The proposals embody a corporate social and economic agenda which, if enacted, will constitute a “silent revolution” imposed from above, with no real democratic debate or popular participation.The proposed changes – which involve a series of proposed rules on ‘economic governance’ – have been welcomed by the EU’s key big business lobby groups, which see some of their traditional key lobby demands reflected in the changes.  There is an urgent need for a democratic debate throughout the EU, in particular on alternatives to the austere neoliberal model of ‘economic governance’ that is now being pushed by the Commission and the Council. And it will require a broad-based social struggle to make the alternatives a reality.

A lot has happened since this article was written in January. Though the basic analysis still holds, the update from late April 2011 that can be downloaded below, might be useful.

The full article in English or French and the update can be downloaded here:

http://corporateeurope.org/news/corporate-eutopia

 

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.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

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.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour