BRUSSELS — It was a show of force in keeping with the ambitions of American law firms that increasingly see the European Union’s vast apparatus as a vital lobbying opportunity for themselves and their multinational corporate clients.
The European Union's former top diplomat to China has become a consultant for telecommunications company Huawei in Brussels.
Huawei confirmed to the South China Morning Post that it had employed Serge Abou, the EU's top representative to China between 2005 and 2011, after several requests were made.
Senior European Commission officials have a penchant for changing sides when they join the private sector. They take up positions with Chinese companies, cigarette manufacturers or PR firms -- and potential conflicts of interest are often ignored.
Today's New York Times contains an article about explosive proposals from BusinessEurope and the US Chamber of Commerce, which want to use the EU-US trade talks to allow the business community to co-write future laws. The article reveals how seriously the proposals are taken by officials of the European Commission and the privileged access it grants business lobby groups to set the agenda for the EU-US talks.
The current newsletter of "Forum Environment and Development", a German NGO coalition, features an article by CEO on the proposed investment chapter in the EU-US trade deal (on pages 13 and 14).
A "special report" by Euractiv covers our report on proposed the proposed investor-state arbitration clause in the EU-US trade deal: "Controversial rights for multinational corporations to sue states, likely to be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are causing a political headache for EU and US negotiators, but may also set a precedent for future trade agreements, notably with China."
Austrian daily newspaper "Die Presse" covered our article on the many meetings that the Commission had with industry lobby groups behind closed doors to prepare for the EU-US trade negotiations: "Die EU-Kommission hielt zwischen Jänner 2012 und April 2013 insgesamt 130 Treffen mit Interessensgruppen ab."
The French weekly magazine "La Vie" published an analysis of the proposed investment chapter in the future EU-US trade deal: "Le projet de Traité transatlantique comporte en plus une véritable bombe, qui, elle, est passée inaperçue du grand public : Américains et Européens veulent donner aux entreprises le droit de traduire les États en justice."
The latest edition of Linea Sur, a magazine published by the Government of Ecuador, contains a long article from CEO and TNI on the role of law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders in the growing business of investor-state lawsuits against states.
German radio HR broadcasted a show on the planned EU-US trade agreement which features a 10 minute interview with CEO on the investment protection chapter of the agreement and the risks it poses to democracy and policies to protect the public interest.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.