Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Lobbying for governments in Brussels

Lobbying for governments in Brussels: a lucrative business still under the radarThis report presents 15 recent examples of governments using lobby consultancies to influence the EU institutions, including Belarus, Botswana, Ethiopia, Jersey, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. They all have hired “public affairs” firms in Brussels to try and boost their diplomacy work. Their motives differ, but include polishing their image, gaining political support, securing EU funding or preferential trade treatment, and blocking new EU regulations.Fifteen examples of national governments using lobbyists to make their case in Brussels.
Lobbying for governments in Brussels: a lucrative business still under the radar
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This report from Corporate Europe Observatory presents 15 recent examples of governments using lobby consultancies to influence the EU institutions, including Belarus, Botswana, Ethiopia, Jersey, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. They all have hired “public affairs” firms in Brussels to try and boost their diplomacy work. Their motives differ, but include polishing their image, gaining political support, securing EU funding or preferential trade treatment, and blocking new EU regulations. This report is probably the most comprehensive overview yet of this little-known part of Brussels lobbying, yet these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. Secrecy among both embassies and consultancies keeps much of this phenomenon out of public sight. Some of the consultancies are lobbying on behalf of governments which are directly or indirectly responsible for serious human rights violations. For instance Bell Pottinger has since 2005 lobbied the EU institutions on behalf of Sri Lanka, whose government is accused of systematic human rights violations. The consultancies lobbying for governments such as Belarus, Botswana, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan, appears not to screen the ethics of their clients. This makes the claims in the codes of conduct of lobbyists associations SEAP and EPACA of operating to the “highest ethical standards” seem rather hollow. Read the full report here:
 

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
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Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of freezing the budgets of the Commission's problematic advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups. Surprisingly, this is the second time in four years that the Parliament has taken such a drastic step, after the Commission failed to tackle corporate domination within these influential groups (see graph below).
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.

Corporate Europe Forum