A majority of people across Europe are concerned about ethics and lobbying in European Union policy-making, and want better regulation of lobbyists, as well as increased transparency of the EU, according to a new opinion poll. 
Friends of the Earth Europe, together with partners from the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), has called on European Commission President Barroso to reveal all the facts about the extent of lobbying by the tobacco industry in Brussels.
The issue has been under the spotlight since John Dalli, the former EU Commissioner for health and consumers, resigned in October 2012. He stepped down following allegations that he was aware of attempts by the tobacco industry to exert undue influence on legislation.
Lobbying transparency, political ethics and the possibility for citizen participation in the European Union were the themes of a conference today organised by Friends of the Earth Europe together with organisations from five European countries.
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.