Brussels Leaks

Unmasking the decision-making process

About

Brussels – the European Capital and the place where decisions are made which impact the globe.

Many of these decisions happen behind closed doors and we have been working to make it more transparent for many years. Journalists, activists and communications professionals have now come together to form Brussels Leaks, a place to centralise intelligence gathered on the inner-workings of the EU.

We are asking for more support: if you work for a corporation, consultancy, institution or NGO and want to release some information in a completely secure – and anonymous, if prefered – way, contact us now. We are trustworthy, reliable professionals with excellent Brussels contacts. We work to make sure the information gathered is 100% reliable and correct, and only then do we act on it.

We have the network and experience to make sure the right thing is done.

Find out more or contact us now if you have information or can help.

Want to know more about why Brussels is so important? We’re busy so we have taken the below from wikipedia:

The more political influence the European Union gains on a global level, and the more policy areas it covers, the more interesting it becomes for lobbyists. With its enlargement in 2004 this development has taken a further step, bringing in not only a lot more players and stakeholders but also a wide range of different political cultures and traditions.

Currently around 15,000 Brussels-based lobbyists (consultants, lawyers, associations, corporations, NGOs etc.) seek to influence the EU’s legislative process. Some 2,600 special interest groups have a permanent office in Brussels. Their distribution is roughly as follows: European trade federations (32%), consultants (20%), companies (13%), NGOs (11%), national associations (10%), regional representations (6%), international organizations (5%) and think tanks (1%), (Lehmann, 2003, pp iii).[citation needed]

The fragmented nature of EU institutional structure provides multiple channels through which organized interests may seek to influence policy-making. Lobbying takes place at the European level itself and within the existing national states. The most important institutional targets are the Commission, the Council, and the European Parliament.[15] The Commission has a monopoly on the initiative in Community decision-making. Since it has the power to draft initiatives, it makes it ideally suited as an arena for interest representation. There are three main channels of indirect lobbying of the Council. First, lobbying groups routinely lobby the national delegations in Brussels. The second indirect means of lobbying the Council is for interest groups to lobby members of the many Council-working groups. The third means of influencing the Council is directly via national governments. As a consequence of the co-decision procedures, the European Parliament attracts attention from lobbyists who target the rapporteur and the chairman of the committee. The rapporteurs are MEPs appointed by Committees to prepare the parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposal and to those measures taken by the Parliament itself.

Lobbying in Brussels was born only in the late 1970s. Up to that time, “diplomatic lobbying” at the highest levels remained the rule. There were few lobbyists involved in the system and except for some business associations, representative offices were rarely used. The event that sparked the explosion of lobbying was the first direct election of the European Parliament in 1979. Up until then the Parliament consisted of a complex, and companies increasingly felt the need of an expert local presence to find out what was going on in Brussels. The foundation of lobbying was therefore the need to provide information. From that developed the need to influence the process actively and effectively. The next important step in lobbying development was the Single European Act of 1986, which both created the qualified majority vote for taking decisions in the Council and enhanced the role of the Parliament, again making EU legislation more complex and lobbying further more important and attractive for stakeholders.

In the wake of the Abramoff scandal in Washington and the massive impact that this had on the lobbying scene in the United States, the rules for lobbying in the EU—which until now consist of only a non-binding code of conduct-—may also be tightened.[16]

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Written by brusselsleaks

December 9, 2010 at 10:46 am