Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Austerity forever

The European Union’s new model of economic governance, including the Euro Pact, is a model of prolonged austerity.

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The EU’s response to the economic crisis is setting member states on course towards a model of permanent austerity, including widespread attacks on social rights. To prevent any resistance, the model being put forward by the EU aims at minimising or even totally getting rid of democratic interference. This is clear from an overview of the legislative initiatives which have been adopted since the eurocrisis began, or which are expected to be adopted imminently.

 
The ESM, the euro area’s permanent bailout fund set up in 2012, is an international organization that operates behind closed doors, far from public scrutiny. The institution at the heart of EU loans to debt-ridden member states is doing its best to stave off any national influence over the conditions attached to its loans. In addition it is working closely with private consultancies, which appear to have conflicts of interest. However, the ESM is immune to democracy; we have no right to know what it is up to.
On the 15-16th of May, a People's Tribunal Hearing took place in Brussels. Representatives from organisations across Europe gave testimony to an era of financial, economic and social crisis which began in 2008. Since the beginning of the crisis, a transformation has occurred that takes Europe on a track to social regression, violations of social rights and a roll-back of democratic achievements. This verdict outlines the main conclusions of the Tribunal based on the reports and analysis from all speakers.
A Tribunal on EU economic governance and the Troika took place in Brussels on 15-16 May. Eleven witnesses from ten countries in Southern, Eastern and Western Europe gave testimony to the failure of the EU and Troika policies to address the crisis. Indeed, people’s lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the austerity and other policy measures.
Farmers, trade unions and citizens belonging to the D1920 Alliance and Alter Summit tried to shut-down Brussels' biggest corporate lobbying event this morning, where many high-level political leaders were expected, in protest at big business dictating European policy while the voices of citizens are excluded.
Here are some examples of the blurry line between private business and public office that have characterised the Spanish nominee for the Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Arias Cañete’s career.
This must-watch film is now online. The film shows how corporations and actors within the Commission are teaming up to demolish a major piece of public health legislation.
CEO is looking for an experienced, French-speaking campaigner to join our team and strengthen our work on the EU-US trade and investment deal (TTIP). This position is a full time (36 hours per week) temporary position for one year.
Karmenu Vella has been a member of the Maltese parliament since 1976, but that hasn't prevented him from also holding a variety of external business roles at the same time including within the gambling industry. These recent outside interests make him unsuitable to be a commissioner.

Corporate Europe Forum