Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

The power of lobbies

Brussels is at the centre of EU decision-making and as such attracts thousands of lobbyists promoting the interests of big business. In this section you can find basic information about this corporate lobbying and how it affects you as a citizen. Or you can visit our specific pages on the revolving door phenomenon of politicians who become lobbyists – and vice versa – and on the corporate dominance of expert groups whose advice helps make official policy for the EU.

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The corporate lobby tour

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

In the run up to the UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June, Corporate Europe Observatory has tabled a series of freedom of information requests to find out how UK finance lobbies have been influencing the referendum negotiations and the Capital Markets Union. But the Brexit-Bremain referendum seems to be a freedom of information black hole.

A new report on carbon market reform has kicked off debate on the issue in the European Parliament. It promises new loopholes for the oil industry and other polluters.

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.