The investment bank Goldman Sachs has revised its registration in the EU's lobby transparency register and has substantially increased its declared lobby spend from the 2013 figure of less than €50,000 to €700,000-€799,999 for 2014. This compounds Corporate Europe Observatory's view that Goldman Sachs' original registration was not a full reflection of its EU lobbying activity. Yet despite this under-reporting, for five months the register secretariat took little action and Goldman Sachs was able to secure at least four meetings with top Commission officials.
The European Commission is negotiating trade deals and it is currently finalising a deal with Japan, the Japan-European Union Free Trade Agreement or JEFTA. Regulatory cooperation in JEFTA has the potential to be detrimental to our democracy, giving big business more rights to be involved in lawmaking at an early stage.
Brexit could become a cash cow for law firms that make millions when corporations sue nation states via trade and investment agreements. They're paving the way for Brexit-related corporate claims against the UK & touting the UK as a gateway for future investor claims against EU member states.
This week marks the two-year anniversary of one of the most serious cases of corporate fraud in modern history: the Dieselgate scandal. In September 2015, car manufacturer Volkswagen was caught red-handed in the use of ‘defeat devices’ - software enabling its diesel cars to pass pollution emissions tests, while actually exceeding EU pollution limits by more than ten times once on the road.