Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Lobbying for governments in Brussels

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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
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:
 
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Has the issue of tax avoidance ever been as important as in the current era of (Commission-backed) austerity? Public budgets continue to be slashed for want of public money, yet the news is filled with corporations avoiding taxes at the same time as their profits are at a record high. So it should be of serious concern to Europe's 500 million citizens that the European Commission has invited to its new advisory group on taxation the very same organisations involved in avoiding it, as well as their tax advisors.
Corporate Europe Forum