[CorporateEurope] European Commission preparing for EU-US trade talks: 119 meetings with industry lobbyists

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In response to an access to documents request from Corporate Europe Observatory, the European Commission has released a list of 130 ‘meetings with stakeholders’ on the EU-US free trade talks. At least 119 meetings were with large corporations and their lobby groups. This means that more than 93% of the Commission’s meetings with stakeholders during the preparations of the negotiations were with big business. The list of meetings reveals that, in addition to the civil society dialogue meetings reported on the DG Trade website, there is a parallel world of a very large number of intimate meetings with big business lobbyists behind closed doors – and these are not disclosed online. […]

It is high time the European Commission embraced a policy of pro-active lobby transparency by posting lists of all meetings with lobbyists on its website. This would be a crucial step towards securing citizens’ right to know who influences EU policy. It would also save a lot of time and energy for the many watchdogs, journalists and others who must resort to access-to-documents requests, as well as for the Commission itself in replying to them. The UK Government has been doing this for several years: a list of meetings with lobbyists is made available per government department, updated quarterly. […]