Chemical industry lobbyists claim that they don’t lobby..

The European Chemical industry is represented by a lobbying organisation called CEFIC in Brussels. CEFIC employs more than 170 staff and claims a yearly budget of 37.9 million Euros. It’s a big operation, with a large office just a few minutes walk from DG Environment, the European Commission’s environment department.

CEFIC basically exists to lobby European institutions – yet, strangely it has declared on the new voluntary register of EU lobbyists that “its costs directly related to representing interests to EU institutions, in 2007, were less than 50,000 Euros

Friends of the Earth Europe spotted this, and complained to the European Commission – and the Commission has now suspended CEFIC from the register for 8 weeks, due to their concerns about the registration:

“Following the submission of a complaint regarding an alleged violation of the code of conduct related to the information provided by CEFIC in the register of interest representatives, the Secretariat general has received some information from CEFIC which have led it to consider that the declaration of CEFIC may indeed raise problems as regards its estimation of expenditures which appears to be underestimated, therefore breaching rule N° 4 of the code of conduct.”

See the Friends of the Earth Europe press release for details.

I’ve had a lot of personal experience of CEFIC lobbying during my time working for Friends of the Earth and then WWF on the formulation of REACH, the EU’s new chemicals law. CEFIC do a lot of lobbying – and spend a lot of money on it….

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