Just As You Suspected, Mega-Corporations Dominate EU Lobbying
The latest analytical report from Transparency International has revealed that the majority of lobbying meetings involving the European Commissioners and their staff were actually held with corporate managers.
Just As You Suspected, Mega-Corporations Dominate EU Lobbying
By Thomas James / acclaimednews.com
Jul 5, 2015

(Acclaimed NewsThe latest analytical report from Transparency International has revealed that the majority of lobbying meetings involving the European Commissioners and their staff were actually held with corporate managers. The EU declares the number of lobbying meetings it has approximately every six months.

Between December 2014 and June 2015 analysis showed that there were a total of 4,318 meetings declared by the most senior EU officials, and more than 75% of these were with corporate lobbyists. That compared to 18% with NGOs, a mere 4% with various think tanks, and finally 2% with local authorities. Three of the most active lobbyists were Google, General Electric, and Airbus. They all had between 25 and 29 meetings apiece, which is not surprising as Commission decisions could make them billions, or cost them billions. Google and General Electric happen to have two of the largest lobbying budgets in Brussels, both declaring annual budgets of 3.5 million Euros.

Compared to the US for example the EU declaration of lobbying interests is really lax, and relatively recent too. Despite the introduction of the Transparency Register lobbyists do not have to declare anything if they do not wish to.

Some of the biggest lobbying consultants and firms have refused to register or co-operate with the Transparency Register. Lawyers, lobbyists, and companies do not have to belong to the register, and they can declare whatever they want to declare to the EU. One leading lobbyist in Brussels, Daniel Gueguen stated to New Europe that “the whole thing is useless.”

There have been 7,908 organisations, which have signed up to the Transparency Register, 4,879 of these seek to change, or influence the political decisions made by the EU in the interests of the companies they represent. With budgets of 4.5 – 5 million Euros for lobbying, Exxon, Shell, and Microsoft are the three companies that spend the most money in Brussels every year.

Figures from the first six months of the register indicate that there is a strong link between how much money a company spends on lobbying and how many meetings it can expect, particularly in relation to finance, information technology, and energy sectors.

It is apparent from the figures that the lobbyists representing the bigger corporations are more likely to meet the EU commissioner or official by themselves. The small community groups from civil society are more likely to end up in larger round table groups. Contrast that with the larger NGOs such as Greenpeace that grab the lions’ share of meetings with the commissioners in the portfolios closest to their interests such as energy.

The available data is only the tip of the iceberg, as only 1% of the EU Commission is shown (the 99% below the top is hidden) and only a fifth of the registered lobbyists have had their meetings declared. In other words the meetings that 80% of the 7,821 registered organisations that have meetings in Brussels are not recorded. This includes the EU team and the lobbyists involved in framing the free trade TPP with the US.

Whilst issuing figures about the meetings that the most important EU Commissioners and officials is a start it is still a long way short of the full transparency that some parts of the media and groups like Transparency International EU. Their Director, Carl Dolan argues that the current scheme needs to cover all the parts of the EU so that the public can have greater confidence that everything is being declared. Until that happens it will not be surprising that not all the public trusts the decisions made by the EU.

Whilst being on the register remains voluntary Dolan argued that some of the largest lobbying legal firms with Brussels offices will avoid signing up to it. Transparency International EU stated that firms like Clifford Chase and Sidley Austin were registered in Washington DC because it is mandatory to do so but not in Brussels.

Even the firms and the lobbyists that are on the register do not have to disclose information. They can declare as much, or as little as they chose to do so. For instance, many of the main European and global banking firms are registered yet never provide details of their meetings, or which Commissioners they have met.

Clearly whilst the Transparency Register is a start of gaining information about the lobbying of the EU, it is a very limited one. For the moment it would seem that the data obtained will be limited in scope, and it’s accuracy open to considerable levels of doubt.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 17,701 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Before He Was Assassinated, MLK Jr. Was Advocating For An End To Income Inequality
10 min · 13,473 views today · We can honor MLK Jr. by pursuing the causes he was advocating for before he was killed.  ​​ Part 2: The Basic Income, A New Human Right (3 minutes) MLK's idea of a basic...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 6,934 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 5,697 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 3,653 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 2,572 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
#ReclaimMLK Seeks to Combat the Sanitizing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Danielle C. Belton · 2,441 views today · Martin Luther King Jr. had more than “a dream,” but you might not notice that on Monday during observances for his birthday. Somewhere between his assassination and today...
What Martin Luther King Jr. Can Teach Us about Nonviolence
John Dear · 2,289 views today · I've been reflecting on the principles of nonviolence that Martin Luther King Jr. learned during the historic yearlong bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. After Rosa Parks refused...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 1,326 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,102 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,036 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 391 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 384 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 358 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 353 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 329 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 300 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 296 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 274 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 274 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Just As You Suspected, Mega-Corporations Dominate EU Lobbying