Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Battle For Corporate Investment Rights

New investment powers, granted to the EU Commission under the Lisbon Treaty, will still allow multinational companies to claim compensation when national laws designed to protect the environment or public health damage their profits, according to proposals put forward by the EU Commission this month. The draft legislation on the protection of international investment – an area previously governed by member states – was an opportunity to change the current system under which national agreements frequently give companies investing overseas excessive protection from legislation in the host country. But following an intense lobby campaign from industry and EU member states led by Germany and the UK, the Commission has opted to protect the status quo. The Commission’s proposals will now be considered by the EU Parliament and the Council.
 
A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour