Pinocchio Prizes, dubious honours for unscrupulous corporations, were awarded today in Paris by Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth France) in conjunction with The Research and Information Centre for Development (CRID) and Peuples Solidaires. Over 17,000 people voted for nominees in three categories.
Civil society groups have today written to the European Commission President urging him to end the secrecy around the resignation of the former Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli. 
Campaign groups in the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) call on President Barroso to introduce stricter transparency and ethics rules to curb the privileged access of lobbyists to EU decision-making .
Friends of the Earth Europe has today written to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to express concerns about potential conflicts of interest of MEPs.
The letter, sent together with Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and Spinwatch, refers to the Belgian MEP and former Prime Minister, Jean-Luc Dehaene's revision of his declaration of financial interests in which he added stock options worth more than €5.3 million in beer company AB Inbev.
New ethics rules in the European Parliament are not strict enough to ensure complete transparency on MEPs' outside interests, and therefore prevent potential conflicts of interest, shows the first analysis of declarations made under the code of conduct. 
The research conducted by Friends of the Earth Europe, and released today, reveals weaknesses in the new declaration system introduced in January in response to last year's 'cash for law' scandal. 
Industry experts and corporate lobbyists have effectively captured key areas of policy advice within the European Commission, according to new research carried out by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), launched today at a joint event with the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour .
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 22 - Commenting on the Rio+20 Summit closing day, Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International said: "World leaders failed at their summit in Rio, mainly because of the undue influence that multinational corporations have on them and the UN.
"But the parallel People's Summit demonstrated that real solutions to the current crises do exist and that people are successfully mobilizing around them.
To mark the official start of the Rio +20 summit, campaigners from Friends of the Earth France/Les Amis de la Terre held an alternative people's summit in Paris, outside the stock exchange. The people's summit formed part of the Global Day of Action, and supported real social and ecological justice and opposed the commodification of nature. The event was held in solidarity with the thousands of people who marched for climate justice and against the 'green economy' today in Rio.
The European Parliament is currently reviewing a crucial piece of financial regulation called MiFID. This regulation, if done right, could rein in speculation on food prices, and protect the world's most vulnerable from the whims of Europe's big financial players.
In the run-up to the United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20, June 20th-22nd; Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and The Transnational Institute organised a public debate on the concept of the 'green economy' currently being promoted by the European Union and the United Nations ahead of talks.
A key European transparency law is under threat, according to environmental and transparency organisations. In a letter to the European Council, civil society warn that the current state of negotiations around the access to documents regulation could make it even more difficult for civil society to participate in EU decision making. Any changes to the current regulation should be in line with the European Treaties and international standards.