Over the past two decades the major international corporations have become industrial lobbyists within the European Union, to such an extent that they pose a threat to democracy. In turn the EU has been very receptive to the political agenda of corporate interest groups, in particular to the notion of making Europe a free trade zone.Europe Inc. provides the first real insight into the systematic ways in which transnational corporations work through lobby groups to shape EU policy. The authors cover the major players in this anti-democratic practice and analyze the structural and political factors that have enabled corporate political influence in Europe to dominate. They examine how governments have been persuaded to increase competitiveness by dismantling and privatizing public services, deregulating industry, and dismantling social and environment protections; the increasing influence of corporate lobby groups on decision makers and the corresponding lack of voice given to small business, organized labor and individual citizens; the impact of the single market and currency; structural adjustment in Eastern Europe; the role of the European industrial lobby groups within the WTO, and the important Multilateral Agreement on Investment. Case studies include European lobbying within the biotech industry, the PR industry and the UN climate summit.
eBook Europe Inc.