Wednesday, 28 October 2009

BusinessEurope's conference inside Commission's building blocked

Under the slogan 'Our Climate, not your business' a group of climate activists blocked BusinessEurope's conference in the Charlemagne building of the European Commission for one and a half hours. Police used pepper spray on protesters blocking the revolving doors, even though the police had already gained access to the building and arrested 24 activists before letting corporate lobbyists and other attendees in.

“I can understand that some more concerned citizens get angry when they see the positions taken by BusinessEurope,” said MEP Claude Turmes to the European Voice. EU institutions were convinced by BusinessEurope and other corporate lobby groups to seriously water down their climate package last year and are now letting their negotiating position for Copenhagen be influenced by them.

It was the second time BusinessEurope was given free use of a Commission building for a conference - a privilege not provided for other groups or environmental NGOs or trade unions. It is a typical example of the privileged access that the Commission gives to big business groups harming the democratic quality of its decision making.

The European Commission should once and for all stop this undemocratic practice of putting its premises at BusinessEurope's disposal anytime.

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