Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

Business summit used to push India-FTA

Brussels – As business leaders meet for the EU-India business summit in Brussels this week, a report by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) revealed today that the EU Commission is using the event to actively orchestrate big business support for the EU-India free trade agreement, despite criticism from small businesses and people’s movements [1]. This week’s EU-India official summit and a parallel business gathering are expected to give negotiations a push towards conclusion.

According to internal Commission information revealed by CEO, the EU Commission has been actively involved in setting up the EU-India business summit, which will provide a platform for big business to lobby for the more controversial elements in the trade deal. It has provided millions of Euros from its development fund to facilitate this process.

Campaigners have repeatedly warned that the planned EU-India free trade deal will destroy lives and livelihoods, with many of India’s poorest particularly at risk [2]. Demonstrations are planned outside the National Parliament in Delhi this week. Several chambers of commerce representing small and medium enterprises in India have backed a call for a halt to the free trade negotiations [3]. Last week, MEPs echoed their concerns in a letter to EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht [4].

Pia Eberhardt from Corporate Europe Observatory said:

“The Commission is falling over itself to get big business support its own big business agenda – and refuses to listen to the very real concerns being raised by small businesses, workers and Parliamentarians both here and in India. But the Commission is riding roughshod over livelihoods, workers’ rights and environmental protection in its enthusiasm to do a deal.”

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and India FDI Watch have today also launched an online animation about the role of big business lobbying in the EU-India trade negotiations and the impact of the proposed deal [5].

Dharmendra Kumar, director of India FDI Watch, said:

“The European Union and India are busy finalising free trade negotiations which are driven solely by corporate interests – and which show complete disregard for the economic chaos already created by the deregulation craze of the past. This agreement will bring disaster for people’s lives, livelihoods and the environment. It must be stopped and our trade policy democratised.”

Contact:
Pia Eberhardt, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), pia[at]corporateeurope.org

Notes
[1] Corporate Europe Observatory (2010): Caught in the act of reverse lobbying. EU Commission uses EU-India business summit and development funds to back its own big business agenda, http://www.corporateeurope.org/news/caught-act-reverse-lobbying

[2] See, for example: Corporate Europe Observatory/ India FDI Watch (2010): Trade Invaders. How big business is driving the EU-India free trade negotiations, http://www.corporateeurope.org/publications/eu-india-trade-invaders

[3] Last chance to prevent onslaught on people’s rights and livelihoods! Indian and European civil society groups call for an immediate halt to the India-EU trade negotiations, 5 October 2010, http://www.corporateeurope.org/call-halt-eu-india-fta-talks

[4] Letter to Karel de Gucht, EU-India Summit and EU-India FTA negotiations, 1st December 2010.

[5] http://www.vimeo.com/17514986

Related issues: 
 

Dangerous attacks against regulations protecting the public interest & the environment would not be prevented by the Commission’s investment protection proposals for future trade agreements.

Despite growing concerns among the European public, the new EU proposal on regulatory cooperation in TTIP does nothing to address the upcoming democratic threats.

The ''Trade Secrets Protection'' Directive due to be voted on by MEPs on April 14 would give companies new legal ammunition to prosecute journalists and news organisations publishing their documents and information.

45 groups denounce Commission proposal on regulatory cooperation

Story

A telling mistake

Ms Barbara Gallani, who will become EFSA's Director for Communications from 1 May, was up until late March 2016 working for the largest lobby group for the food and drink industry in the UK, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Corporate Europe Observatory is looking for an experienced campaigner to join our team and strengthen our work on exposing and challenging corporate lobbying capture of EU decision-making. Please respond before Wednesday May 18th 2016. The position is based in Brussels, in our office in the Mundo-B building in Brussels. Starting date July 1st 2016 (a later start date can be discussed).

You would be part of the 'lobbyocracy' team within CEO, covering issues including the corporate capture of advisory groups, lobbying secrecy, etc.

Splits occur within European Commission, as European Parliament, Ombudsman and NGOs increase the pressure for implementing UN rules for contacts with tobacco industry lobbyists.

The European Commission has shelved a legal opinion confirming that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) produced through gene-editing and other new techniques fall under EU GMO law, following pressure from the US government. A series of internal Commission documents obtained under freedom of information rules reveal intense lobbying by US representatives for the EU to disregard its GMO rules, which require safety testing and labelling.

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate