How vulnerable are the EU institutions to undue corporate influence, and what gaps exist in EU lobbying and ethics rules?
Consumer organisations reacted with great disappointment to MEPs' rejection of the traffic light labelling scheme in the 17 June vote. CIAA, the food and drinks industry lobby, seemed pleased with the vote, but criticised CEO's report on food labelling and even denied being a lobbying organisation in a conversation with CEO.
In this interview with Corporate Europe Observatory, MEP Carl Schlyter, member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), reflects on one of the biggest lobbying battles in Brussels in recent years on food labelling regulation.
In June, MEPs voted on new legislation on food labelling – determining what nutritional information should be displayed on the packaging of items such as snacks, soft drinks and ready-meals. The vote has been the subject of a major lobby campaign by the food industry, opposed to mandatory information on food packaging.
On the second day of the EU's Green Week, an action group took the stage during a session of the 2-day policy summit titled ‘Pricing the earth: How business can protect and profit from biodiversity’. The 'summit' was organised by Friends of Europe, a corporate-sponsored think tank. The activists spread a red banner reading ‘Green Week is as green as this banner’ and one listing the companies behind Friends of Europe, including BP, Dow, Areva and Coca Cola.
The US investment bank Goldman Sachs is earning a reputation as public enemy no. 1 in the financial world. At the same time the firm is one of the Commission’s favourites when it comes to asking for advice on regulating financial markets . It is high time for the Commission to close the door on Goldman Sachs, this article concludes.
This report from Corporate Europe Observatory presents 15 recent examples of governments using lobby consultancies to influence the EU institutions, including Belarus, Botswana, Ethiopia, Jersey, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. They all have hired “public affairs” firms in Brussels to try and boost their diplomacy work. Their motives differ, but include polishing their image, gaining political support, securing EU funding or preferential trade treatment, and blocking new EU regulations.
Sometimes no news is not good news – and this is certainly the case as far as Europe 2020 – the European Union’s proposal for a new overarching strategy is concerned.
The new ALTER-EU report 'A captive Commission - the role of the financial industry in shaping EU regulation' can be found at: http://www.alter-eu.org/en/system/files/publications/CaptiveCommission.pdf Brussels, November 5, 2009 - The vast majority of financial ‘experts’ advising the European Commission represent the banks and investors responsible for the global economic crisis, according to a new report published today by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER EU) .
One year after the launch of the EU Commission's lobby register, with less than 23% of Brussels-based lobby organisations registered, ALTER-EU publishes a detailed report highlighting the register's failures and putting forward concrete proposals for improvement.
British American Tobacco (BAT) spent more than €700,000 lobbying the EU last year, up to four times as much as the company declared on the EU’s register of interest representatives, new research by Corporate Europe Observatory has revealed. This report argues that BAT's hidden lobbying activities, which are clearly not in the public interest, should be exposed to public scrutiny.
Why we shouldn't trust the EU's financial "wise men"
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