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.
The new LobbyFacts website allows EU lobby register data to be sorted, compared, ranked and analysed and exposes extent of lobbying in Brussels.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.
As MEPs prepare to quiz Jonathan Hill again, the UK commissioner-designate allocated the portfolio of financial services, and Hill refuses to answer MEPs' question about his former financial lobby clients, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) exposes further information about Hill's career as a lobbyist.

Corporate Europe Forum