Brazil's Agrofuel Push in Sao Paulo
The German weekly WirtschaftsWoche earlier this week revealed that former Enterprise Commissioner Günter Verheugen has set up his own EU lobby consultancy firm, the European Experience Company. Verheugen started the new firm in April 2010, just two months after he ended his term as Commissioner, but did not inform the Commission about this.
The activities of arms lobbyists rarely appear in the media, and when they do, it is often in connection with bribery, dubious export deals and corrupt government officials.
While the public image of arms lobbyists is generally defined by such scandals, there is a more mundane side to their activities which is no less disturbing. This is not only true at a national level, where arms companies have always had close ties with governments and defence departments, but also at the European level.
In the complaint, CEO accuses the Commission of secrecy, selective release of documents and failure to fulfill its obligations under EU transparency legislation (Regulation 1049/2001).
Burson-Marsteller is one of the world's most controversial 'public affairs' companies, with recent clients including Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, the Burmese dictatorship and the Saudi royal family. The company has also repeatedly run into criticism due to its record of establishing and running front groups on behalf of corporate clients. Van Hulten's future colleagues at Burson-Marsteller Brussels for instance masterminded the 'European Women for HPV Testing' coalition.
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.