FR sponsorship with logos

No sponsorship deals for the French EU Presidency

On 1 January 2022, the French Government will kick off its stint at the helm of the Council. Take action today to send a clear message to President Macron to say NO to dodgy sponsorship deals for the Council presidency.


It was hugely disappointing that the French Presidency took sponsorship from two major car companies. Despite the support of over 45,000 citizens for our petition, it seems clear that this battle with member states has not yet been won. Regretably, the next Presidency - Czech - seems set to continue with this dodgy practice.


In March the French Government finally published the contracts for the sponsorship deals with Stellantis and Renault. Notwithstanding some redacted texts, we learnt that the value of the 220 loaned vehicles were €479,560 and €146,417 respectively, with a 60 per cent tax credit sweetening the deal. The contracts are available here. This kind of belated transparency is not within the spirit of the weak Council guidelines. It's time to say no to corporate sponsorship deals for EU Council Presidencies.


The French Presidency of the Council of the EU has now launched and regrettably, it has signed sponsorship deals with both Stellantis and Renault, the logos of which are featured on the French Presidency website. The framing of these deals as being to help the French Presidency to be "carbon neutral" is highly disingenuous! On the plus side, the French Government eventually decided against sponsorship from nuclear giant EDF although the reasons for this have not been made public. Please do keep the pressure up on Macron and his ministers by taking action today (below) and reading our brand new report on the wider corporate influence of the French Presidency.


There are very worrying signs emerging from the French Presidency that it will take sponsorship from corporate interests, including Renault and Stellantis (electric vehicles) and EDF, the nuclear and fossil fuel energy company (for offsetting the presidency's carbon emissions). If true, it would be outrageous that companies would be able to promote their brands and products to EU decision-makers, especially when it is urgent to introduce fossil free politics, and truly clean and green energy generation. The French Government argues that this is not "sponsorship" because these companies will provide goods or services in kind instead. We beg to differ. Please take action today and demand no dodgy deals and no corporate gifts!

From Coca-Cola branding, to fleets of BMW cars carrying ministers around, and the logos of Big Tech and fossil fuel companies being plastered on EU presidency websites, dodgy corporate deals during the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU have become the norm. Join Corporate Europe Observatory, foodwatch, and Observatoire des Multinationales in demanding that the French Government gives a strong message to citizens and other member states that these irresponsible deals have no place in a democracy.

This petition is also available in French, German, and Dutch.

The following message was sent to: 

  • Emmanuel Macron, President of France
  • Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for Europe
  • Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, Secretary-General of the French Presidency

Dear President Macron,

No sponsorship deals for the French EU Presidency

I am writing to ask you to rule out corporate sponsorship for the French Presidency of the European Union in 2022.

Sponsorship of EU presidencies has become very controversial in recent years. Citizens have had enough of seeing EU presidencies taking favours from corporations and multinational companies being classed as ‘partners’. As you know, the European Ombudsman has highlighted the problem of “reputational risk” for the EU from these deals.  

We urge the French Presidency, like the German Presidency in 2020, to say NO to any corporate sponsorship deals - this means both cash donations or donations of goods and services in kind. 

Your own MEPs earlier this year asked you to be “attentive to the public’s perception” and said that the French Presidency “should not resort to private sponsorships.”

We call on you to clearly declare that there is no place for corporate sponsorship during the French Presidency and to urge future presidencies to do the same. In the current context of growing mistrust by citizens in the EU institutions and the problematic influence of lobbies promoting corporate interests, we urge you to stand up for public interest decision-making and democracy. 

Yours sincerely,

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