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One of the last hot topics in the European Parliament before the 2014 elections is a new set of rules on seeds marketing. This text is extremely important for all players in the food chain: seed savers, farmers and the seed industry of course, but also environmentalists, consumers and the agro-industry at large. The European Parliament has appointed a rapporteur on the issue, Italian MEP Sergio Silvestris (EPP) who is now co-hosting a dinner event with the European Seed Association (ESA), the seed industry's lobby group in Brussels.
For the first time in their history, European institutions will reform the entire package of legislation related to seed marketing. Since seeds are the starting point for the whole human food chain, this is hugely significant. From the very start of the process this policy initiative has been an unique opportunity for large seed companies to reinforce their control over a commercial seed supply system that they already largely dominate.

The push for reform continues from within the European Parliament, from the Ombudsman’s office and from civil society. This year, two Ombudsman inquiries, a Parliament discussion on the use of transitional allowances to prevent conflicts of interest, and finally, Parliament’s reaction to the Commission proposal for reforming Commissioners’ ethics rules all need to be wrapped up.

Here’s a roundup of the various factors that might push a reform of the revolving-door rules in 2018.

The decision of the European Ombudsman to ask the European Central Bank President to end his membership of an opaque and exclusive club dominated by financial corporations is a step towards ending a culture of secretive collusion between regulators and big banks.

CETA has now been provisionally applied. Our new mobile and desktop game Dodgy Deals lets players face some of the dangerous features of trade deals like CETA and shows what is at stake.

91 per cent of meetings held by UK trade ministers (10/2016 - 06/2017) and 70 per cent of meetings held by UK Brexit ministers have been with business, too often big business, interests. This corporate bias in ministerial access is part of an ongoing trend.