Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

A covert push for water privatisation?

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The European Commission refuses to say whether or not it is using international trade talks to push for new markets for EU-based water multinationals. Trade Commissioner Baroness Ashton appears to be following in the tradition of secrecy established by Peter Mandelson and other predecessors. It is high time for the EU to put its cards on the table. Judging from all available sources, the EU appears in fact to be pushing for including water in trade agreements whenever possible. This approach benefits EU multinationals, but is seriously at odds with securing access to clean water and sanitation for the world’s poorest.

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Scientific advice should be transparent, objective and independent, and there should be more science and more diverse expertise available to the European Commission’s President, a coalition of 28 international and national NGOs wrote in a letter addressed to President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today (1).
A few observations on the debate sparked by our open letter on the position of Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission, and on the need for proper scientific advice to EU legislators.
The position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission is problematic, concentrating too much influence in one person and undermining other Commission research and assessment processes. We ask Mr Juncker, the new President of the European Commission, to scrap the position.
David Cameron's nomination of a revolving door ex-lobbyist, Jonathan Hopkin Hill, as EU commissioner is bad news for Jean-Claude Juncker's newly-stated commitment to lobby transparency.

Corporate Europe Forum