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

LobbyControl, CEO and Friends of the Earth Europe have made a formal complaint to the EU lobby register about the entry of Goldman Sachs which the NGOs consider signficantly under-reports its lobby spend.
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?
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Les affaires au secret

Va-t-on assister à l'apparition d'un label « secrets des affaires » pour les entreprises, comparable au « secret défense » des états ? Ce dernier leur permet de s'opposer à la publication de certaines informations jugées trop sensibles, et de poursuivre en justice ceux qui se risqueraient à les publier sans son autorisation. L'utilisation possible de tels outils contre des lanceurs d'alerte, journalistes, syndicalistes... fait craindre une régression importante.
LobbyControl, CEO and Friends of the Earth Europe have made a formal complaint to the EU lobby register about the entry of Goldman Sachs which the NGOs consider signficantly under-reports its lobby spend.
"The proposal fulfils the ambitions of some of the biggest business lobby groups" - CEO's Kenneth Haar
A new leaked proposal from the transatlantic trade treaty negotiations (TTIP) shows the European Commission seemingly unstoppable in its drive to constrain regulations to protect the public interest – including potentially those made by regional authorities.

Alternative Trade Mandate

Corporate Europe Forum