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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I found an article about EU lobbyists written from a left wing point of view. In between the denouncement of Multinationals and their hostility to “progressive legislation” there were quite a few nuggets:
Kallas (EU commissioner for administrative affairs, audit and anti-fraud) told the European Foundation for Management at a speech given at Nottingham Business School that there were a staggering 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels, and around 2,600 interest groups with permanent offices there. He thought that lobbying activities generated €60-90 million in annual revenue for these lobbyists.
A quick calculation will show that the revenue estimate is way too low to feed 15.000 hungry workers, it must be far in excess of that. But that’s a lot of people trying to influence our lives.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), many of which rely on public funding, provide little information about the interests they represent. Kallas admitted that the EU Commission channels over €2 billion to the so-called developing countries “for good causes” through NGOs, about which it knows little.
That’s direct payments from our pockets and The only logic for EU funding for NGOs is to buy the EU loyalty. They are now an integral part of the legislative process.
Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP, explained at a training course for lobbyists, “I need lobbyists. I depend upon lobbyists.”
Independent experts are undoubtedly needed, but can the lobbyist really be independent?
The “revolving career door” is a common phenomenon; as MEPs and Eurocrats go on to take up lucrative posts in the Brussels lobbying industry.
Possibly because their pensions are not generous enough? I understand that such people are an unfortunate part of political life but it makes me uncomfortable to think of groups representing different interests discussing my future in some Brussels office. Unlike the people from whom I stole these quotes, I don’t think the answer is to replace industry lobbyists with Trade Unions and environmental groups. The real answer is to stop legislators whether in Westminster or Brussels trying to make all of our personal decisions for us.

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