Barroso II Commission too close to big business | Corporate Europe Observatory
Today the lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory released a critical report on the record of the European Commission over the last five years. The report sums up the record of the outgoing Barroso II Commission, in particular how the Commission has interacted with big business lobby groups during its term. It provides an overview of the role of the Commission in key areas, including international trade, financial regulation, climate change, agriculture, and the response to the crisis. The release coincides with the start of the European Business Summit, Brussels’ biggest lobbying event organised by employers’ federation BusinessEurope, where corporate CEOs enjoy unrivaled access to Europe’s commissioners and political leaders, it is an event where, in its own words, “business and politics shape the future”.
The critique of the Commission in the report is severe. It concludes that the Commission has pursued a corporate agenda, with little regard for other interests in society. On top of this, the Commission has fought tooth and nail to avoid effective regulation of lobbyists, including by opposing a mandatory register and avoiding serious reform of its advisory structure, with its so-called expert groups dominated by big business representatives in many areas.
Kenneth Haar, co-author of the report, said:
“The Barroso II Commission is the European Commission at its worst. With the crisis, it has managed to expand its competence, and has used its new powers to impose policies that fit neatly with the interests of big business. This will be a term that Europeans won’t forget any time soon. It leaves the Commission with less legitimacy.”...............