Halfway through its term in office, the European Commission is falling behind in the race to create sustainable long-term prosperity in Europe, warn Europe's leading green groups in a critical assessment of the Commission's environmental performance since 2010.
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.
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.
Friends of the Earth Europe, as part of a coalition of civil society organisations led by Client Earth, have written an open letter to the Ministers of Justice, and the Danish Presidency, to express serious concerns about plans for changing rules on access to documents. These changes would make it more difficult for citizens, journalists and civil society organisations to scrutinise and challenge the policy-making processes of the European Union institutions.
Brussels, March 20 - Today marks the first anniversary of the 'cash-for-amendments' scandal, in which several Members of the European Parliament were exposed tabling legislative amendments in exchange for money . Ethics campaigners warn that the new code introduced since the scandal does not include all the safeguards necessary to prevent another 'lobbygate'.
Brussels/Paris/Amsterdam, February 22, 2012 – European governments must say no to the dirtiest forms of unconventional oil tomorrow, and defy pressure from both the Canadian and big oil lobbies, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. Representatives from European governments will decide tomorrow on plans to keep tar sands out of Europe.
Friends of the Earth Europe and Client Earth, with the support of 19 other civil society organisations including CAN Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, ECAS, FERN, Greenpeace, Spinwatch, Statewatch and T&E, today sent a petition to the European Parliament asking that they ensure the European Commission complies with its legal obligations to provide systematically better access to documents. Access to documents is not only enshrined in law, it is a prerequisite for lobby transparency and full democratic participation.
Friends of the Earth Europe made a formal complaint to the European Ombudsman today over the European Commission's apparent maladministration, following repeated failure by the Commission to properly deal with complaints concerning Shell and BP entries in the Commission's old lobby transparency register.
The 'cash for influence' scandal in May, when several MEPs were caught red-handed accepting money for tabling amendments, revealed a blatant lack of ethics regulations.
Since then, Friends of the Earth Europe and ALTER-EU partners have successfully campaigned to set-up a proper code of conduct, to prevent scandals like this from happening again.
Brussels, December 1, 2011 – A vote in the European Parliament today to introduce a new code of conduct for MEPs has been welcomed by The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU (ALTER-EU).