This week, the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) released data it had collected on meetings that were held behind closed doors by members of the Department of Trade of the European Commission, in the run-up to negotiations for the approval of TTIP (the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU).
The results are revealing: Of the 597 meetings that were held at the European Commission, 528 were with representatives of lobbyists groups, representing 88% of the total. Moreover, members of the Commission met with representatives of public interest groups only 53 times, a figure that does not exceed 9%. So, for each meeting with a public interest group, there were ten other meetings held with representatives of private companies.
According to the organisation, this demonstrates the influence of the private sector in decisions taken within the European Commission, while it also takes it a step further, confirming that the now famous TTIP is actually a “lobbying paradise.”