Potential conflicts of interest continue to plague the European Parliament one year after elections, finds new research released today.
The report from Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl, details nine cases of MEPs who have other jobs while holding public office and are at risk of potential conflicts of interest.
When the new European Commission took over in November 2014, energy policy became one of the central issues on the EU's agenda. The creation of the position of a 'Vice-President for the Energy Union' in the European Commission shows that energy ranks among the top concerns for European officials.
Reforms to the way the European Union decides legislation proposed today are a threat to environmental, health, safety and other standards that protect citizens, says Friends of the Earth Europe.
The 'Better Regulation' proposal from the European Commission reflects a massive power grab from the Commission away from the European Parliament and European Council and gives more influence to business lobby groups, Friends of the Earth Europe asserts.
More than 50 civil society organisations have joined forces to create the 'Better Regulation Watchdog' – a network to protect citizens', workers' and consumers' rights. The network was launched today in Brussels, one day ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission's so-called 'Better Regulation' reforms.
The network of organisations from around Europe is concerned that the 'Better Regulation' agenda aims to weaken or undermine essential regulations and subordinate the public good to corporate interests.
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has urged European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans to take strong and urgent action to create a high-quality and legally-binding EU lobby transparency register in a letter sent to him today, signed by over one hundred non-governmental organisations and trade unions, and supported by the European Parliament Intergroup on Integrity .
Friends of the Earth Europe today cautiously welcomed moves announced by the European Commission to increase the transparency of the ongoing EU-US trade negotiations. While the new rules are a positive step, they fall short of providing full transparency and openness to allow a proper public debate on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Tomorrow sees the new team of European Commissioners officially take office, with no sign of an end to the crusade for big business-friendly deregulation waged under the previous administration.
The new Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, looks set to oversee another five years of weakening of legislation and scrapping of rules, especially environmental and social protections, Friends of the Earth Europe and Corporate Europe Observatory are warning.
A new lobby data web tool has for the first time shown which companies, trade associations, lobby consultancies and law firms are the biggest spenders on EU lobbying activities.
More than 1330 MEP candidates signed the Politics for People pledge in the run up to the European Parliament election.
They promised, if elected, to ''stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business." This support makes Politics for People one of the most successful civil society pledge campaigns around the 2014 European parliament elections.
As elections for the European Parliament draw closer and candidates roll-out their campaigns across Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Vredesactie and Campagne tegen Wapenhandel are enabling citizens to track exactly how their politicians acted on critical issues in the last parliament.