The worst of Europe

After the Slugger Awards, which attempted to promote good governance, my mind is drawn to awards exposing the opposite; The Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2008 (a potential new category idea for Slugger in 2009?) organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, LobbyControl and Spinwatch.

The candidates

The five candidates for the Worst EU Lobbying Award are:

•The agrofuels lobby (including MPOC, Unica and Abengoa) – nominated for their misleading campaigns to promote agrofuels as green;
•The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) – nominated for hiding the involvement of big pharma corporations in their campaigns;
•The European Business and Parliament Scheme (EBPS) – nominated for abusing their location and lobbying from inside Parliament offices;
•Brussels-based lobbying and PR agencies Gplus and Aspect Consulting – nominated for supporting the spread of war propaganda in the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia;
•The International Air Transport Association (IATA) – nominated for its deceptive lobbying campaign to avoid CO2 reduction obligations in the aviation sector.

The five candidates for the Worst Conflict of Interest Award are:

•Dr Caroline Jackson MEP – nominated for her twin roles as an elected representative dealing with environmental issues and as an appointed environmental advisor to a private waste management company, Shanks.
•Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP – nominated for abusing her role as an MEP by promoting the interests of her future employer, a big banking lobby group
•Klaus-Heiner Lehne MEP – nominated for his dual role as an MEP and lawyer for EU competition and regulatory issues, and for using his position as an MEP to allow lawyers to lobby in the dark.
•Ex-European Commission officials Petite, Klotz and Kjølbye – nominated for going through the revolving door to law firms lobbying for industry clients
•DG Trade Director Fritz-Harald Wenig – nominated for revealing inside information on trade tariffs to “lobbyists” who were in fact journalists working under cover.

So why not head over, have a read on the candidates and cast your vote.