At the mid-way point of a week of trade talks between the EU and US, big business lobby groups are continuing to gain privileged access to negotiators.
Friends of the Earth Europe has learned today that the EU and US chief negotiators, as well as their respective negotiating teams, will attend a private reception in Brussels this evening hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and attended by major European business lobby groups such as BusinessEurope. 
A new round of talks between the EU and US on a transatlantic trade agreement opens today in Brussels amid growing public concern and opposition.
Public resistance is particularly focused on a controversial clause which could give foreign companies the right to sue governments. Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for the harmful and undemocratic 'investor-state dispute settlement' mechanism to be excluded from any deal.
A trade deal between the EU and the US risks opening the backdoor for the expansion of fracking in Europe and the US, reveals a new report released today . As part of the deal currently being negotiated, energy companies could be allowed to take governments to private arbitrators if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking and the dangerous exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels. Campaigners are urging the EU not to include such rights in trade deals.
The European Commission must bend to overwhelming public and political opposition and ban a new controversial genetically modified (GM) maize, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. The maize, owned by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, is damaging to butterflies and has unknown impacts on bees and other pollinators.
Friends of the Earth Europe has today criticized the close public ties between the European Commission and big business, as senior EU representatives were out in force for a conference of lobby group BusinessEurope.
EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso gave the opening speech at the BusinessEurope 'Industry Matters' event dedicated to industrial policy, energy and trade. Commissioners de Gucht, Tajani and Oettinger are also giving keynote speeches at the event.
2014 will be a crucial year for trade negotiations between the EU and US. But the year is beginning with the talks still surrounded in secrecy, as Friends of the Earth Europe campaigner, Natacha Cingotti, reports from a stakeholder event in Brussels.
Negotiations on a Transatlantic free trade deal are advancing but remain shrouded in secrecy.
Friends of the Earth has criticised the secrecy surrounding EU-US trade talks, which closed today in Washington. It warned that public opposition will continue to increase unless people can see that a deal will not damage public safeguards or weaken democracy.
Details of the third round of discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have not been released despite calls for transparency from Friends of the Earth and many other organisations in America and Europe.
The second round of negotiations between the EU and the US on a transatlantic trade deal closed in Brussels today with the detailed content of the talks still being kept out of the public domain.
The delay to trade talks between the EU and US, which were due to start in Brussels today, must be used to address the risks a deal represents to people and the environment, says Friends of the Earth Europe.
The negotiations were put on hold on Friday evening when it was announced that the US delegation would not be travelling to Europe due to the current shutdown of parts of the US administration.
Concerns about possible negative effects of an EU and US trade agreement are the subject of a letter sent to European Trade ministers today.
Friends of the Earth Europe, the European Consumers' Organisation (BEUC) and Eurogroup for Animals today wrote to the 27 ministers to raise concerns about the threat a deal could pose to environmental, consumer, and social regulatory standards.