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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Here are some examples of the blurry line between private business and public office that have characterised the Spanish nominee for the Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Arias Cañete’s career.
This must-watch film is now online. The film shows how corporations and actors within the Commission are teaming up to demolish a major piece of public health legislation.
Karmenu Vella is a Maltese politician and the country's nominee to be European commissioner, responsible for environment, maritime and fisheries. He has been a member of the Maltese parliament since 1976, but that hasn't prevented him from also holding a variety of external business roles at the same time including within the gambling industry. CEO now argues that these recent outside interests make him unsuitable to be a commissioner.
In this lobby tour we will show specific revolving door examples including new and previously-departed commissioners, as well as MEPs who have moved to industry lobby jobs provoking a real risk of conflicts of interest.

Corporate Europe Forum