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his fifth issue of the Corporate Europe Observer brings you four in-depth articles describing different aspects of corporate power abuse. We start with an article on the Global Compact, the new covenant between the United Nations and major transnational corporations, through the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

With this agreement, which aims to counter the backlash against trade and investment liberalisation, corporations promise to become 'Global Corporate Citizens' and incorporate social, environmental and human rights standards in their mission statement and practices. The UN offers support, including a website through which corporations can dialogue with 'civil society'.

The second article describes the attempts of the European biotech lobby group EuropaBio to prevent another blow to the public image of genetic engineering- the planned European tour in May/June of 450 anti-biotech farmers from India and other Southern countries. EuropaBio, together with PR company Burson-Marsteller, quickly organised its own tour of ten Indian pro-biotech farmers.

In Issue 3 of the Corporate Europe Observer we reported about the activities of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) to influence the process of EU enlargement with Central and Eastern European countries. A recent step in this strategy has been to establish close cooperation with the Regional Environmental Centre (REC), one of the most prominent environmental networks in Central and Eastern Europe. We report on the joint ERT-REC seminar Industry-Government Dialogue on EU Accession.

Finally, we continue our series on corporate think-tanks with a portrait of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), frequently consulted by the media, who describe CEPS as an independent expert group. In fact, CEPS is another example of a think-tank heavily dominated by and biased towards the interests of its corporate membership and sponsors.

This issue of Corporate Europe Observer is brought to you by: Belén Balanyá , Ann Doherty, Olivier Hoedeman, Adam Ma'anit and Erik Wesselius.

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group targeting the threats to democracy, equity, social justice and the environment posed by the economic and political power of corporations and their lobby groups.



The Global Compact: The UN's New Deal with 'Global Corporate Citizens'
Biotech PR Reaps Poor Harvest
ERT and REC: Strange Bedfellows
Thriving in Brussels: the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS)


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