How vulnerable are the EU institutions to undue corporate influence, and what gaps exist in EU lobbying and ethics rules?
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.
Our unique new guide to the hidden world of corporate lobbying in Brussels is now available, highlighting the players, the locations, and the tactics used by big business to influence decision making in the European Union.
Two experts from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in charge of evaluating food additives, including aspartame, have failed to report active collaborations with ILSI, a scientific lobby group funded by the food industry – major user of additives and aspartame. EFSA rules on conflicts of interest require these experts to report such activities.
The Lisbon Treaty, introduced in 2009, substantially increased the Parliament’s legislative power, making MEPs even more attractive to consultancy firms. The Parliament can now accept, amend or reject the content of European legislation that affects every European – making its decision makers worth knowing.
Its new powers mean that greater scrutiny, transparency and accountability are required to minimize any potential conflict of interest and corruption.
Giving the European Commission a central and dominant role in EU economic governance, without proper democratic control neither at the European nor at the national level, would be a dream-come-true for industry hardliners BusinessEurope, but a disaster for Europe.
We are a small team that works fully independently of funding from EU
institutions and corporations.
Every single donation helps us fight the hold of Big Business over the EU.