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.
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).
A former European Commissioner who stood down in July has just been granted approval to join the board of an international mining company.
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.
Friends of the Earth Europe is today calling on the European Parliament to reject Miguel Arias Cañete as the new EU Commissioner for Climate and Energy.
The call comes ahead of a vote this evening by MEPs on the parliament's environment and industry committees.
The European Parliament tonight voted to approve Miguel Arias Cañete as the new EU Commissioner for Climate and Energy in what Friends of the Earth Europe has described as a victory for polluting industry and vested interests.
Members of the Parliament's environment and industry committees voted to approve Mr Cañete's appointment as the EU's top civil servant for climate change in a secret ballot.
MEPs voted against another Commissioner-designate – Alenka Bratušek – who was named as Commissioner and Vice-President for Energy Union.
Fresh evidence about the close links between Miguel Arias Cañete, who has been named to take over as the EU’s energy and climate chief, and the oil industry, has been revealed by Friends of the Earth Europe ahead of his hearing in the European Parliament today.
Miguel Arias Cañete, the Spanish politician nominated as the new EU Commissioner for Climate and Energy, faced tough questioning from MEPs in his parliamentary hearing this evening.
Ahead of his hearing Friends of the Earth Europe revealed fresh evidence about his links to the oil industry and his long history of conflicts of interest, and there was growing public opposition to his appointment.
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.