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The European Commission directorate-general at the heart of the 'cash for influence' claims by UK MP Jack Straw (TAXUD - taxation and customs union), has now released to Corporate Europe Observatory information showing its lobby contacts in 2013 with the now disgraced ex-minister. The documents illustrate how Straw tried to use his influential name and impressive CV to help open lobby doors. They also expose the loopholes in EU lobby rules.

Learn about the role corporate lobbies have in EU decision-making, how they manage to get what they want and how their activities affect citizens all over Europe.

The ESM, the euro area’s permanent bailout fund set up in 2012, is an international organization that operates behind closed doors, far from public scrutiny. The institution at the heart of EU loans to debt-ridden member states is doing its best to stave off any national influence over the conditions attached to its loans. In addition it is working closely with private consultancies, which appear to have conflicts of interest. However, the ESM is immune to democracy; we have no right to know what it is up to.
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. The country's Prime Minister Sobotka (of the social democratic ČSSD) has warned “this could be perceived as a strong conflict of interest”.

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Members of the copyright industry and their political allies are fighting proposed copyright exceptions. For the 285 million blind and visually impaired people globally, such exceptions would provide better access to a wider range of print publications.

On Brexit launch day, the European Commission approved the revolving door move of UK ex-EU Commissioner for financial and banking policy, Jonathan Hill, to law firm Freshfields. The firm is engaged in lobby and advisory work for several UK financial industry clients.

More than fifty Belgian, European and international organisations are hosting an action at noon today to denounce the 10th Forum for the Future of Agriculture, a large lobbying event organised by the world’s biggest pesticides producer Syngenta.

The EU is finally looking to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to make a greater range of print publications available in accessible formats for visually impaired people. But as ratification draws closer, the extent and potential harm of publishing industry and member state lobbying is already excessive, our new research shows.