In late January 2024, both the European Parliament and the civil society organization Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) expressed concerns about corporate lobbying around EU lawmaking. According to by Politico, Parliament President Roberta Metsola wrote in an internal email that the security department would open an investigation “on the behaviour and possible security breaches of interest representatives” pertaining to the drafting of the new packaging and packaging waste regulation (PPWR; FPF reported). At around the same time, CEO an investigation into industry lobbying of the European Commission about the essential use concept.  

The packaging and packaging waste regulation has been the most lobbied political process in the EU. Politico reported, “MEP Mohammed Chahim accused lobbyists of following his colleagues into the toilet or entering their offices without permission ahead of a crucial vote in the Parliament in November.” Lobbyists have to follow a which includes a register of those allowed, and depending on the results of the investigation, the individuals could be removed from the register.  

CEO reviewed more than 140 documents obtained from DG Environment and DG Grow concerning meetings and reports about the essential use concept with and from industry representatives dated October 2020 to March 2023. After reviewing the documents, the group outlined five arguments the industry organizations are making to politicians in public reports and behind closed doors about how to define essential use in the EU.  

Chief among these is the idea of “safe use” – allowing the continued use of a substance if it can be demonstrated safe. However, CEO writes, “‘safe use’ is pretty much the system we have today, which is clearly not sufficiently protective.” This would avoid incorporating the precautionary principle into EU chemicals policy. 

CEO suggests that the EU government “introduce a lobby firewall which, while permitting industry to submit evidence via open consultations and hearings, then protects policy-makers from further corporate lobbying so that they can take decisions that are truly in the public interests of health and environment.”  

 

References 

Leonie Cater (January 26, 2024). “.” Politico 

Corporate Europe Observatory (January 24, 2024). “”  

Read more 

Clelia Oziel (January 24, 2024). “.” Enhesa 

ChemSec (April 27, 2023). “.”  

Clelia Oziel (January 31, 2024). “.” Enhesa