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Democracy For Sale awards: The hidden powers co-writing TTIP

The ongoing negotiations of the EU-US trade agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are happening behind closed doors, hand in hand with big business lobby groups. Their influence is so great that their collaboration with TTIP negotiators deserves closer scrutiny. Our contribution: to give the most successful business group an award!

Pick your least favourite lobby and VOTE NOW!


Big services lobby

The European Services Forum, serving members like Deutsche Bank, Microsoft and KPMG
Reclaiming their right to power and public money: The service industry pulls all strings

For: Sustaining a special reverse-lobbying relationship with EU regulators and ensuring that financial firms, insurers and ICT corporations enjoy privileged access to the negotiating table - at the EC’s explicit invitation. Kindly gifting their innovative ideas on deregulating financial markets and privatising key public services to the lawmakers’ to use as their own. Tirelessly calling on the EU to recognise the inherent right of corporations to take governments to parallel courts for taxpayers’ money when democratically adopted standards and regulations affect their profits.

Pharma lobby

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), representing companies like Pfizer, Novartis and Merck
Prescription only: big pharma co-writing TTIP

For: Discreetly outspending and out-charming other voices in an effort to tick items off big pharma’s regulatory shopping list. Standing ready for the duty to take over democratic control of public health policies and availability of medicinal products, with the promise of future “regulatory cooperation”. For companies, it will mean more profits - for patients across the world, the result will be more expensive medicines and less information on their impact on our health.

Chemicals lobby

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), representing companies like Bayer, Dow Chemicals and BP.
No limits to pollution: Colluding over chemicals

For: Unceasing efforts to cut costs and remove “unnecessary obstacles to trade and innovation” for chemicals corporations in the US and EU, like strong safety measures and assessments. Sparing no expense to codify so-called “better regulation” in TTIP and promoting unloved fossil fuels like shale gas. Tirelessly defending commercial interests even when faced with stubborn advocates for the protection of human health and the environment.

Big business lobby

Brussels’ BusinessEurope and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the voice of companies such as Accenture, Bayer, Caterpillar, UPS and Ford.
Friends with benefits: corporate lobbies and the European Commission

For: Courageously speaking up for the common good of multinational corporations far and wide. Successfully ghost-writing whole chunks of a trade agreement to give business more power over democratic societies on both sides of the Atlantic. Introducing into the draft text the possibility for multinationals to sue States for public money in a parallel justice system. Championing the innocent-sounding but far-reaching principle of "regulatory cooperation", to effectively circumvent burdensome regulations put in place to protect the public.

Car lobby

European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), the voice of car firms like VW, BMW and Renault
Car lobby in the TTIP driver’s seat

For: Successfully steering the behind-closed-doors conversation about TTIP in the direction of less strict regulation, for the sake of the export-oriented automobile industry in Europe. Being the engine behind the European Commission’s embracing of “mutual recognition” of safety standards in cars on both sides of the Atlantic, and tirelessly driving home a message that risks putting passenger safety and environmental standards behind corporate profits.

Pesticides lobby

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) and CropLife America (CLA), the voice of companies like Syngenta, Monsanto and BASF
Fertile ground: palling up with the pesticide industry

For: Their brave struggle to bring European and American pesticides safety regulations to their lowest common denominator, freeing companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta to market polluting and toxic pesticides. Generously offering to take on the regulators’ job to set industry standards and cooking up a special pot of regulatory proposals for the treaty’s text. Items on the menu? Carcinogens, hormone-disruptors, bee-killing chemicals and other goodies.

Corporate Europe Observatory
Rue d’Édimbourg 26
1050 Brussels