Worst EU lobbying awards 2010 - Voting opens

13 October 2010

Time to clean up lobbying in Brussels

Business attempts to undermine effective European action on climate change and finance regulation are exposed today with the launch of the Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010 [1]. Corporate influence over governments is blocking desperately needed measures to stop the worsening of the financial and climate crises.

From today, members of the public can vote online at www.worstlobby.eu for the most deserving ‘winner’ in this year’s two categories – climate and finance. Online voting will run until 25 November 2010.

The nominees are:

  1. BusinessEurope: Nominated for its aggressive lobbying to block effective climate action in the EU while claiming to support action to protect the climate.
  2. ArcelorMittal: Steel industry fat cat, nominated for lobbying on CO2 cuts under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and profiting from free ETS emission permits.
  3. RWE: Nominated for claiming to be green while lobbying to keep its dirty coal-and oil-fired power plants open. 
  1. Royal Bank of Scotland: Nominated for secretly lobbying in Brussels and for exploiting insider contacts by headhunting former EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen as an advisor
  2. Goldman Sachs and derivatives lobby group ISDA: Nominated for aggressive lobbying to defend their ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’
  3. Hedge fund and private equity lobby groups AIMA and EVCA: Nominated for deceptive lobbying to block regulation of damaging speculation in the financial sector

Nominees in both categories include companies and lobby groups that have lobbied 'secretly' and used false arguments and threats to block effective regulation. Their deceptive lobbying is aimed at securing bigger profits for big business at the expense of the European public.

The awards were launched today in Brussels by MEPs Evelyn Regner and Dan Jørgensen and the mascot of this year’s awards, Lobby-Cleaner, who encouraged the public to cast their votes and help clean up the European climate and finance lobbying scene.

Paul de Clerck, speaking for the organisers of the 2010 Worst EU Lobbying Awards, said: “We need strong European policies to counter climate change and avoid another financial crisis. The aim of the Worst EU Lobbying Awards is to publicly expose and counter harmful corporate lobbying that undermines effective EU legislation on climate and finance.“

“The award mascot Lobby-Cleaner calls on the public to vote for their choice for worst lobbying and help put pressure on European decision-makers to promote public interest rather than commercial interests.”

Evelyn Regner, MEP said: “It is five to twelve. The regulation of the financial sector can no longer be postponed, even if it’s against the wishes of the lobby of banks, Hedge Funds and Private Equities. The European institutions have to be strong and resistant to lobby influences."

This is the 5th year of the awards which aim to expose and counter dirty lobbying tactics among EU decision-making circles. The ‘winners’ of each category will be announced on December 3.

For more information see http://www.worstlobby.eu/

Pictures of the launch event will be available from 13:00 at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54192430@N02/

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Notes:

[1] The Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010 are jointly organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, LobbyControl, Spinwatch.

Communications is supported by: 38degrees and Campact.