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Lobbying by the arms industry has been playing an increasingly influential role in EU policy-making and the EU's plans to start funding 'defence' research and development.

CEO welcomes the very strongly worded final ruling by European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly in her inquiry into the Commission’s implementation of UN rules for contacts with tobacco industry lobbyists.

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.

In the run up to the UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June, Corporate Europe Observatory has tabled a series of freedom of information requests to find out how UK finance lobbies have been influencing the referendum negotiations and the Capital Markets Union. But the Brexit-Bremain referendum seems to be a freedom of information black hole.

Lobby Planet 2017 banner

The plastics industry mounted a significant lobby campaign to influence the European Commission’s recent Plastics Strategy. Industry is now seeking to unpick or undermine key elements of the strategy through lacklustre or non-existing voluntary commitments, or outright opposition. With the Commission likely to publish its proposal to tackle single-use plastic products any day, will it adopt an ambitious approach towards binding regulations on industry?

Following the Cambridge Analytica affair and the massive leak of 87 million people’s data revealed earlier this year, Facebook is facing unprecedented scrutiny of its business model. Regulators must stop treating the social media giant as a trusted partner and better protecting EU citizens' digital rights.

In May 2017, the global biotech and seed industry lobby groups landed in Budapest for their annual congress. They launched a joint campaign with one key goal: to get governments worldwide to adopt a zero-regulation approach to new genetic modification (GM) techniques, often termed gene-editing techniques. The seed industry magazine SeedWorld stated that the timing of this international campaign is critical “as policymakers and governments around the world discuss plant breeding innovations, and if and how they should be regulated”.

Thanks to bottom-up pressure the European Union stepped back from supporting Trump and his big polluters’ agenda, but fell short of backing calls for a conflict of interest policy at the UN climate talks.