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Corporate Europe Observer

Welcome to the sixth issue of the Corporate Europe Observer. We open with four articles on the European Commission and its links with corporate Europe. During the negotiations on the review of the Amsterdam Treaty that will take place this year, CEO will run an 'IGC-Watch' initiative, to monitor and report on corporate lobbying activities around the treaty revision process. In this issue, we get a glimpse of corporate ambitions for the treaty revision, mainly through attempts to expand the Commission's powers to negotiate in international fora such as the WTO.

We follow with an examination of the 'revolving door' phenomenon between the European Commission and the corporate world and look at a few recent cases. A short item on a special EC budget line for sponsoring and promoting the creation of international business roundtables follows. We end the EU section with an article on the recent attempts by the Commission to restrict public access to EU documents.

A brief report on European corporate lobbying at the WTO Seattle Ministerial opens the following section, followed by an update on the European Commission's Investment Network initiative. Next is an article on corporate responses to the outcome, or lack thereof, of the Seattle Ministerial. We present responses by lobby groups such as UNICE and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as well as European think-tanks and PR companies. The low profile business response after the ministerial obscures the development of new strategies to deal with opposition against neoliberal globalisation. Finally, we present the more sophisticated corporate reaction to Seattle, that was unveiled at the 30th world economic forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, last January. At that meeting, more than 2000 industrialists, national and international political leaders strategised how to put a 'human face' to globalisation in order to counter what is called the backlash against globalisation.

In Issue 5 of the Corporate Europe Observer, we wrote on the controversial Global Compact, a new partnership between the United Nations and major corporations. In this issue we report on the new UN website which was launched in Davos.

We then follow with a brief review of Johann-Gunther König's book "Alle Macht den Konzerne -- das Neue Europa im Griff der Lobbyisten" ("All Power to the Corporations -- the New Europe in the Grip of the Lobbyists"), a useful guide to Germany Inc. that describes how the German corporate landscape is being transformed by economic globalisation.

We finish with a report on the meeting of campaigners, researchers and journalists working on the subject of corporate political power which CEO organised in Córdoba, Spain, last October. We also reprint the Córdoba Declaration that resulted from that meeting.


Intergovernmental Conference 2000: Business and the Amsterdam Leftovers

Back to Business: Revolving Doors in Brussels

EC Offers Funding for International Business Roundtables

Texts, Lies & Red Tape: The EC's (Failed) Crusade For Secrecy

European Industry in Seattle

Update on the Investment Network: How the EC and Business Prepared for WTO

Business Responses to Seattle

Davos 2000: 'New Beginnings' for Global Capitalism?

UN-Business Partnerships Update

Toothless UN Website on Global Compact with TNCs

Guide to "Germany Inc."

CEO Hosts Meeting in Spain

The Córdoba Declaration


This issue of the 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 European-based 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.

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