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Corporate Europe Observer - Issue 9
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Rio +10 and the Corporate Greenwash of Globalisation
The "World Summit on Sustainable Development" (September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa) will mark the tenth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro. In the run-up to Rio+10 next year, a large-scale business campaign is under way to consolidate government support for 'free-market environmentalism' and head off the backlash against the neoliberal global economic model. Corporate greenwash and co-optation efforts will reach unprecedented levels.    [ Read More ]

From Lisbon to Stockholm: The ERT Evaluates 'Progress' in Neoliberal Reforms
The EU's Spring Summit in Stockholm, March 23-24, confirmed the renewed drive towards neoliberal restructuring of European societies which was launched at last year's 'Jobs Summit' in Lisbon. Like the European Commission, the ERT works hard to ensure that reluctant EU governments do not shy away from implementing the sweeping deregulation and privatisation commitments made in Lisbon.    [ Read More ]

"Better Regulation" - For Who? EC Prepares to Dismantle Business Regulation and Expand Corporate Control
One of industry's ultimate dreams is about to come true in the European Union. After years of corporate campaigning, the European Commission (EC) is working full speed to replace EU regulations impacting business with self-regulation by business groups. In the few exceptions where regulations are still to be considered, these will have to be subject to tough business impact assessments. Business hopes to expand these impact assessments to existing legislation as well as to European Parliament amendments.   [ Read More ]

The GATS Attack on Public Services
The WTO negotiations to further liberalise trade in services, 'GATS 2000', have recently moved into a higher gear. The European Commission, headed by Trade Commissioner Lamy, is playing a particularly aggressive role in trying to expand GATS to as many sectors as possible, working closely with the European Services Forum to champion the interests of European services industry. The Commission's GATS offensive, combined with its radical liberalisation of services within the EU Single Market, is fuelling the debate within civil society groups and catalysing resistance to the risks posed to democracy and basic public services.  [ Read More ]

Post-Seattle Retaliation: US Business Rallies to Keep Neoliberal Globalisation on Track
The unexpected outcome of the WTO Summit in Seattle has shocked business into intensifying their counter-offensive against their critics. Ironically, they are borrowing heavily from NGO tactics that have proven successful in the backlash against economic globalisation. With help from the PR industry, lobby groups have become increasingly successful in mimicking "grassroots campaigning", particularly in the US. Corporations and their lobby groups have also engaged in a cyberwar over the global economy in recent years and industry-run websites extolling the virtues of trade liberalisation have mushroomed.  [ Read More ]

This issue of the Corporate Europe Observer is brought to you by Belén Balanyá, Ann Doherty, Olivier Hoedeman, Adam Ma'anit and Erik Wesselius. Philipp Mimkes of Coordination Against Bayer Dangers contributed the article on German Industry's use of NGO Campaign Tactics. Editing and layout by Karen Grant.

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