Brussels is at the centre of EU decision-making and as such attracts thousands of lobbyists, promoting the interests of big business. Easily outnumbering and outspending public interest groups, corporate lobbyists are also given privileged access by the European institutions. The emerging lobbycracy results in flawed policies that put commercial interests above those of people and the environment and undermines the very basis of democracy.
The register secretariat has now informed CEO that the changes introduced by EPA "meet the requirements" and that they have therefore decided to close the case. But while the EPA's updated register entry now discloses its corporate backers, it remains silent about its links with lobby consultancy firms Competere and DCI Group.
The report shows that Petite had a central role in the events that led to Dalli's forced resignation (under yet to be clarified circumstances, following bribery accusations) in mid-October 2012. Petite assisted tobacco company Swedish Match in submitting the complaint that triggered the OLAF investigation into the Dalli case, using his access to the Commission's Secretary-General Catherine Day, a former colleague at the European Commission.
CEO has reported a lot about Dalligate, the tobacco cash-for-influence lobby scandal that led to the downfall, in mysterious and contested circumstances, of former health Commissioner John Dalli. One of the reasons Dalligate is such a juicy affair is that it starkly illustrates the problems with voluntary lobby transparency and with inadequate management of the conflicts of interest that arise from the revolving-door – public officials becoming big business lobbyists, and vice versa.
It seems like the Commission does not want the public to know about the recent progress it has made in stopping big business dominating its 'expert groups'. It has produced an update but won't make it public. However, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), on behalf of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), has obtained a copy of the Commission's latest efforts. In short, the Commission has fallen well short of the promises of reform it made to Parliament.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.