Friends of the Earth Europe has 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
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.
BusinessEurope is one of the most prominent lobby groups in
the EU, and has a record of trying to delay and dilute meaningful action on
Brook Riley, climate and energy campaigner at
Friends of the Earth Europe said: "So
far BusinessEurope seems to be getting exactly what it wants from the
Commission: a dangerously weak 2030 climate and energy package and a trade deal
with the US which risks watering down democratically agreed environmental
"Today's public display of close ties to vested
industry interests goes a long way to explain the secrecy surrounding trade
talks with the US and why the Commission is ignoring climate science. People
need to know that when Barroso talks about what is best for Europe, he really
means what is best for big business.
"Instead of cosying-up to dirty industry our
decision-makers should be building a safe, clean Europe for future
Last week the European Commission announced climate and
energy policies for 2030 which disregard climate science and will not address Europe's high dependence on costly fossil fuel imports.
At the same time negotiations are taking place behind
closed doors for an EU-US trade deal which risks giving excessive rights to
companies and risks damaging public safeguards and weakening democracy.