How vulnerable are the EU institutions to undue corporate influence, and what gaps exist in EU lobbying and ethics rules?
Luckily MEPs have been more thoughtful, introducing amendments to better regulate the revolving door, as well as on other important topics such as protecting whistleblowers. These revolving door amendments would ban EU officials from going on a sabbatical to become a lobbyist, as well as introducing a one year cooling-off period to prevent senior officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave office.
Highlights of 15 years research and campaigning on corporate influence in the EU and beyond.
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.
Three chapters from Europe Inc: “Writing the Script: The European Roundtable of Industrialists”, “Polishing the EMU: The Association for the Monetary Union of Europe” and “Doing Business in Amsterdam: The ERT, UNICE and the Treaty of Amsterdam”.
Crucial decisions “to save the Euro” and “to save Greece” were made at the Euro Summits in July and October 2011. While the decision making process was taking place, the press reported several informal negotiations between EU leaders and the banks, mostly represented by the Institute of International Finance (IIF). What was exactly the role of this lobby group in the final decisions? And what did it get from the deal?
The Commission recently put forward a proposal to curb the lethal volatility in food prices by addressing speculation. But preparations of new legislation have been dominated by the financial lobby, and they've had an impact. Effective measures seem far away.
Brussels, 7 December 2011 – Eight new cases illustrating the extent of Brussels' revolving door problem are exposed today with the launch of the Corporate Europe Observatory's new RevolvingDoorWatch.
The eight cases feature individuals who have moved through the revolving door from the European institutions, including the Commission, into private sector lobbying jobs – apparently without the proper checks or adequate restrictions being imposed.
The European Union's multi-billion research funding programme is supposed to help society meet the grand challenges it faces. But there is concern that the participation of large corporations is skewing research agendas towards narrow interest, and leading to the substitution of public for private funding. Will the EU's new Research Program, Horizon 2020, avoid these pitfalls?
CEO recently met with officials at DG Markt to discuss their use of expert advisors. Read our analysis of what DG Markt has done to change the balance of expert groups – and find out more about the problems that still remain.
The “revolving door” – which appears to link the EU institutions directly to the private sector, allowing employees to move almost effortlessly between the two – is at the heart of the close relationship between the EU institutions and Brussels’ lobby industry.
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