June 7th 2016The financial lobby
The UK financial sector spends at least €34 million per year on lobbying in Brussels and employs more than 140 lobbyists to influence EU policy-making, according to a study published today by Corporate Europe Observatory. From December 2014 to May 2016, UK financial sector lobbyists had 228 lobby encounters with elite European Commission officials.
After years of claiming there was no need, the Commission has finally reformed the horizontal rules that govern its advisory groups, formally called 'Expert Groups'. There are two positive changes, relics from the last Commission, yet the reforms leave big business unchallenged in dominating the groups and therefore steering policy. Is this the end of Expert Group reform for another five years, or will the European Parliament have one last throw of the dice?