Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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The Commission recently put forward a proposal to curb the lethal volatility in food prices by addressing speculation. But preparations of new legislation have been dominated by the financial lobby, and they've had an impact. Effective measures seem far away.

Before taking office in early 2010, the Single Market Commissioner Michel Barnier told a cross interrogation in the European Parliament that in order to stop the 'scandalous speculation in agricultural commodities, 'we as responsible politicians have to regulate derivatives very carefully. Despite this, when the Commission presented its proposal in October 2011 for a review of the “Markets in Financial-Instruments Directive” (MiFID) the level of ambition was significantly lower than US law, and will not, as it stands, do much to address the lethal volatility of agricultural commodity prices.

Why are ambitions so low? A look at the way the proposal was prepared provides some indications. It reveals a long standing problem at the Commission: that regulatory reform is mainly dealt with through interactions with the financial sector. A tradition that is always exploited effectively by the financial lobby that commands tremendous resources.

Attached files: 
 

Polluters in Peru blog

Subject of the Luxleaks scandal, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is also advising the Commission on tackling tax dodging
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.
Newly-released documents show that as far as financial regulation is concerned, lobbyists are besieging the Commission – which has an open door policy towards them. Can the new Commission fare better? And why is its prospective commissioner responsible for this area, Jonathan Hill, a former financial lobbyist?
The announcement today that Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European commission, will hand responsibility for financial services to Jonathan Hill compounds CEO's view that British PM David Cameron should withdraw his nomination of Hill.
The actions of the European institutions ahead of the Greek elections seem hell bent on undermining a potential new Syriza government. The European Central Bank in particular is taking on an outright political role.
On Monday, 19 January, CEO submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman regarding maladministration at the European Commission of an access to information request about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
New research exposes companies behind Europe's multi-million Euro image-laundering business.
Commission consultation on investor rights in the proposed EU-US TTIP trade deal ignores vast majority.

Alternative Trade Mandate

Corporate Europe Forum