Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Business Conference blocked

BusinessEurope Conference inside Commission's building blockedUnder the slogan 'Our Climate, not your business' a group of climate activists blocked BusinessEurope's conference in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission for one and a half hours. Police used pepper spray on protesters blocking the revolving doors, even though the police had already gained access to the building and arrested 24 activists before letting corporate lobbyists and other attendees in.BusinessEurope Conference inside Commission's building blocked

Under the slogan 'Our Climate, not your business' a group of climate activists blocked BusinessEurope's conference in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission for one and a half hours. Police used pepper spray on protesters blocking the revolving doors, even though the police had already gained access to the building and arrested 24 activists before letting corporate lobbyists and other attendees in.

“I can understand that some more concerned citizens get angry when they see the positions taken by BusinessEurope,” said MEP Claude Turmes to the European Voice. EU institutions were convinced by BusinessEurope and other corporate lobby groups to seriously water down their climate package last year and are now letting their negotiating position for Copenhagen be influenced by them.

It was the second time BusinessEurope was given free use of a Commission building for a conference - a privilege not provided for other groups or environmental NGOs or trade unions. It is a typical example of the privileged access that the Commission gives to big business groups harming the democratic quality of its decision making.

The European Commission should once and for all stop this undemocratic practice of putting its premises at BusinessEurope's disposal anytime.

 
The International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this: http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissi...

The International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.

Ahead of the Commission's proposal for a new ‘mandatory’ lobby transparency register, CEO takes a look at the summary of the public consultation on the subject: civil society's call for better transparency systems faces the spin of corporate lobby groups and trade associations, which appear to promote transparency values but recommend limited implementation, loopholes and toothless management.

CEO's reaction to the the Bahamas leaks, which revealed ex-EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes' offshore links.

The European Commission's upcoming regulation proposal for acrylamide, a dangerous contaminant formed in many starchy foods when cooked at high temperatures, relies on codes of best practices developed by food industry lobby groups.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour