November 7th 2012Climate and energy
Oil and gas companies from the United States and across Europe are targeting Brussels in an all-out campaign to prevent EU-wide rules for the developing shale gas industry. No legislation has been proposed, but there has already been intensive lobbying in the European Parliament and Commission, with industry funding reports, advertisements and websites, designed to show that shale gas does not pose a threat to the environment or to public health, and to promote the fiction that it is a green source of fuel. This report maps out the lobby players ahead of vote in the European Parliament on the need for regulation.
November 6th 2012The power of lobbies
Around 97 full-time lobbyists defend the interests of the tobacco industry in Brussels, and the industry’s total annual lobbying budget in the EU capital exceeds €5.3 million, according to new research by Corporate Europe Observatory. But these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. And a key Dalligate-related question remains: is the mystery “company with expertise in EU affairs” allegedly working with Silvio Zammit, the political associate of former Health Commissioner John Dalli, in the register?
April 16th 2012The power of lobbies
In 1997, at the time of the EU Counter Summit from Below, four friends in Amsterdam set up Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and published the report Europe, Inc.: Dangerous Liaisons between EU Institutions and Industry. This first CEO report uncovered the powerful role of lobby groups such as the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), in promoting and shaping an EU-wide free trade area (the single market), a single currency (the euro), and numerous other major EU projects and policies at the time. The report warned that the far-reaching influence of corporate lobbies over EU decision-making came at the expense of democracy and of social and environmental concerns. Fifteen years later, CEO co-founder Olivier Hoedeman takes stock.
Big banks and financial companies are doing their best to stop the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT) in the European Union. A proposal for an FTT is on the table, but still has to be approved by the Council. The industry has put all its lobbying machinery to work, implementing a scaremongering strategy, to convince member states to reject the tax. There is a real risk that their lobbying will pay off, either by defeating the entire idea of taxing transactions, or by watering down an already timid proposal.