Episode 7: Tainted Love - corporate lobbying and the German EU Presidency

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In this seventh episode Vicky Cann, researcher and campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Nina Katzemich EU Campaigner at LobbyControl dig into so called the green credentials of the German government. They explain how the German Government’s ‘love affair’ with gas and the unconditional support for its automobile sector are two clear cut examples of how its EU Presidency risks preventing effective climate action by the EU.

A week ago CEO and LobbyControl published a new reportTainted love: corporate lobbying and the upcoming German EU Presidency”. Expectations in the ‘Brussels bubble’ for the German EU Presidency starting 1 July may be high. But the reality of German Government positioning on many policy areas in the EU Council, gives great cause for concern for the chances of both a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and the Green Deal of the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Via various detailed case studies the new report shows that on many EU issues – vehicle emission limits, new gas support and infrastructure, sustainable finance, tax policy, ePrivacy, chemicals regulation, fishing quotas - the German Government is too close to its domestic industry interests. This leads to delays, loopholes, or even the blocking of new EU rules, and seriously undermines the public interest. The case studies have been written by a range of NGOs: Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Finanzwende, Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit, Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren, and Our Fish.

A main message from this report is that these times are simply too critical for a business-as-usual approach; And that it’s vital that the German Government ensures its EU Presidency focusses on the public interest rather than its national industrial interests. The Government must put the brakes on the privileged access and policy favours for the car, gas, and other industries whose interests run counter to tough action on climate change, a robust European Green Deal, and a corona recovery package based on social and environmental justice.

Both CEO and Counter Balance raise awareness on the importance of good governance in the European Union, by researching issues like lobbying of large and powerful industries, corporate capture of decision making, corruption, fraud, human rights violations in areas like agro-business, biotech & chemical companies, the financial sector & public investment banks, trade, energy&climate, scientific research and much more…

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10 episodes