privileged access

The issue of 'competitiveness' will be dominating the discussions at the European Council Summit that takes place on 20-21 March. An important theme for big business as measures in this field are, while attacking citizen's rights, generally in line with industry's interests. Therefore, in the past months, major industry lobby groups ERT and BusinessEurope have been bent on exerting their influence on the agenda and discussions of first the Competitiveness Council meeting and then the EU Summit – and seem to have succeeded.
The EU's General Court has announced a date for the judgement in Corporate Europe Observatory's legal action, suing the European Commission for withholding information related to the EU’s free trade talks with India. The Commission is accused of discriminating in favour of corporate lobby groups and of violating the EU’s transparency rules. The judgement will be delivered on 7 June 2013.
A recent documentary on lobbying in the EU, The Brussels Business, highlights the historically intimate links between the EU Commission and European services companies. New research reveals that they are as close as ever, working hand in glove to liberalise and deregulate services markets – from Canada to the ASEAN region, from the US to India.

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Reports of TTIP's death have been greatly exaggerated; its agenda fits all too well with Trump’s corporate buddies and with the EU’s corporate trade agenda - his plea to change US trade policy and populist outbursts notwithstanding. It is likely to return in one form or another.

Remember the story of how the EU was going to take action against hormone disruptors, or EDCs? This week will see another make-or-break moment for the regulation of these harmful chemicals, fought heavily by the chemical industry, when a group of Member State experts will meet.

A new investigation by Corporate Europe Observatory and Seas at Risk reveals that fishing industry lobbyists have used press passes to access the EU Council building during crucial ministerial negotiations on fishing quotas.

Glyphosate specialists consulted by CEO argue that EFSA’s data disclosure to CEO could in principle allow limited scrutiny on the agency's glyphosate assessment work, and some insights, but in practice the data is very difficult to handle and cannot be used for publication, making it impossible for scientists to use.