How vulnerable are the EU institutions to undue corporate influence, and what gaps exist in EU lobbying and ethics rules?
As the dust has settled after the European Parliament elections last month, we're taking another look at the election debates in several member states where excessive corporate influence on EU decision-making and other concerns about the role of lobbying in Brussels became a major theme. We have previously reported on Austria and Denmark, but in Germany and Spain there were also big breakthroughs in the level of debate about these important problems.
As the management board of the European medicines agency votes today on its new clinical-trial data transparency policy, fresh concerns are being raised about how EMA handles revolving door cases.
The recent investigation into the European Commission's influential advisory groups announced by the European Ombudsman is very good news. This could provide the impetus to ensure that when the Commission comes to review the rules next year, it is the public interest rather than corporate interests that are at the heart of EU decision making.
Secretive lobbying, excessive corporate influence on EU decision-making and other concerns about the role of lobbying in Brussels have become a major theme in the European Parliament election debates in Austria, Denmark and Germany and – to a lesser extent – Spain, Italy and other European countries. In this first of a series of blogs we zoom in on the debates in Denmark and Austria.
The final version of the Tobacco Product Directive has just come into force. With the European Parliament elections approaching we look back at the lobbying battle around this directive and provide, for the first time, online access to (parts of) tobacco giant Philip Morris' leaked lobby strategy documents. We also offer a list of the ten MEPs from the current Parliament who have – according to the leaked documents – the strongest relations to Philip Morris.
Corporate Europe Observatory has gathered a lot of evidence over time and covering many different areas that shows how the Commission is easily captured by corporate interests. This report is an attempt to produce a condensed version of how the Commission has come to act on behalf of corporations over the past five years, focusing on climate policies, agriculture and food, finance, economic, and fiscal policies.
Three years after the cash-for-amendments scandal, the lack of enforcement of the European Parliament ethics rules leaves the integrity and the credibility of the Parliament at risk, warned transparency campaigners today.
There is a major controversy running in the Czech Republic right now over who will become the country's candidate for the next European Commission. One of two candidates who have a chance is Pavel Telička. Telička is also the lead candidate for the European Parliament elections for the ANO Movement, the party of billionaire business tycoon Andrej Babis (often referred to as the Czech Berlusconi). Telička's candidacy has been criticised by other parties because he is a lobbyist.
According to several EU sources, member states’ diplomats in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) this morning pre-selected a food industry lobbyist to become a member of the board of the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This is Mr Jan Mousing, a director at the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, a lobby group representing the interests of the Danish food industry.
At the end of May the whole of Europe will be going to the ballot box for the 2014 European Parliament elections. But when the votes are counted and members-to-be (MEPs) take their place, who are they going to represent – people or profit?
In the run-up to the European elections in late May, many members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be considering their future careers. If experiences from the end of the previous parliamentary term in 2009 are any indication, many will be approached by lobby firms and industry groups hoping to entice them through the revolving door: the route from the European Parliament to Brussels' for-profit lobby circles is a well-trodden path.
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