Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

The power of lobbies

Brussels is at the centre of EU decision-making and as such attracts thousands of lobbyists promoting the interests of big business. In this section you can find basic information about this corporate lobbying and how it affects you as a citizen. Or you can visit our specific pages on the revolving door phenomenon of politicians who become lobbyists – and vice versa – and on the corporate dominance of expert groups whose advice helps make official policy for the EU.

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The corporate lobby tour

A documentary program broadcast on Dutch TV last week has sparked major concerns about the health risks of playing football on artificial turf fields made with rubber granulate from old car tyres. Corporate lobbying seems to have been behind the lack of regulation of these surfaces used by thousands of children every week.

Ahead of the Commission's proposal for a new ‘mandatory’ lobby transparency register, CEO takes a look at the summary of the public consultation on the subject: civil society's call for better transparency systems faces the spin of corporate lobby groups and trade associations, which appear to promote transparency values but recommend limited implementation, loopholes and toothless management.

The European Commission's upcoming regulation proposal for acrylamide, a dangerous contaminant formed in many starchy foods when cooked at high temperatures, relies on codes of best practices developed by food industry lobby groups.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.