Since the economic crisis hit Europe, international investors have begun suing EU countries struggling under austerity and recession for a loss of expected profits, using international trade and investment agreements. This is revealed by a new report released today by the Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory. The investors – and the lawyers involved – are scavenging for profits amidst crisis-hit nations, providing a salutary warning of the potential high costs of the proposed trade deal between the US and the EU, which start its fourth round of negotiations today in Brussels.
A discreet but important lobbying battle is currently being fought in Brussels over the labelling of nano ingredients in food products. A European Commission text would completely betray a 2011 regulation by only labelling new additives. The Parliament is attempting to block their text which waters down the label requirements, while the food additives industry is lobbying to stop the Parliament; the vote is 12 March.
European commissioners have been reminded by ALTER-EU coalition of the need to avoid conflicts of interest which undermine public trust in EU policy-making, as they near the end of their term in office.
March 7th 2014Agribusiness
With the end of this Parliament's term approaching – EU elections will take place in May this year – it seems that agrichemical corporations and their allies are using the few remaining voting opportunities left to have a couple of usefully-worded resolutions voted upon by this Parliament, which they know well and which has generally been rather supportive to their positions.
A trade deal between the EU and the US risks opening the backdoor for the expansion of fracking in Europe and the US, reveals a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory and other groups. As part of the deal currently being negotiated, energy companies could be allowed to take governments to private international tribunals if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking and the dangerous exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels. Campaigners are urging the EU not to include such rights in trade deals.
Critics score against extreme corporate rights in TTIP, but must not be fooled by the Commission’s tricks
The European Commission's freeze in negotiations over dangerous corporate rights in the EU-US trade deal (TTIP) announced this week is an important first success for the growing anti-TTIP movement. But a closer look at the Commission’s line shows that it might just be a smart trick to dispel concerns.
What would fill the void if the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) were allowed to collapse? This briefing shows that ending the ETS would not leave a climate policy void.
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has today urged President Barroso to put in place new rules to prevent the current crop of European commissioners from going through the revolving door in 2014. As the Barroso II Commission nears the end of its term in office, transparency campaigners believe that the cooling-off period which applies to former commissioners taking on lobby jobs should be extended from 18 months to three years to prevent a repeat of the conflict of interest scandals which dogged the end of the Barroso I Commission.
In 2010 when the Barroso I Commission left office, there was a public outcry when six out of the 13 departing commissioners went almost immediately into the corporate sector or lobby jobs, provoking the risk of possible conflicts of interest. Now in 2014, CEO has looked again at these six former commissioners to see what lessons can be learnt as the Barroso II Commission prepares to leave office later this year.
Commissioner Barnier has surprisingly announced a temporary ban on meetings with the financial lobby. An important and telling step, but more is needed if the objective is to curb the lobbying power of the banks.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.