"Europe Inc." provides the first real insight into the systematic ways in which transnational corporations - working through lobby groups - have succeeded in influencing a wide range of policies of the EU and other international institutions, such as the OECD, WTO and the UN. The authors cover the major players in these anti-democratic practices and analyse the structural and political factors which have enabled corporate political power to dominate.
In their analysis of the EU's current neoliberal economies strategies - which involve promoting deregulation and privatisation in virtually all areas and subordinating every policy field to the objective of international competitiveness - the authors focus on the activities of corporate lobby groups and corporate state alliances. These include bodies such as the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Association for Monetary Union of Europe (AMUE). The featured case studies examine corporate influence on transport, biotechnology, climate change policies, as well as key economic globalisation projects such as the Transatlantic Economic Partnership and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment.
The authors are all with Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) in Amsterdam. CEO is a research and campaign group targeting the threats to democracy, equity, social justice and the environment posed by the economic and political power of corporations and their lobby groups.
Foreword by George Monbiot
The most important conflict of the twenty-first century will be the battle between corporations and democracy. As companies tighten their grip on national governments and international institutions, ordinary people will discover that, unless they are prepared to confront big business, their residual democratic rights will disappear.
The critical weapon in this battle will be information: those who know most will win. Our power lies in our ability to expose the machinations of society's corporate enemies, to embarraass the governments which have surrendered to them, and to use our knowledge to wage incisive, informed campaigns against both the companies themselves and, even more importantly, the institutional failures which have allowed them to hold sway. We must arm ourselves with as much information as we can lay hands on.
There could scarcely be a better place to start than "Europe Inc." This new edition, updated and expanded, will prove to be one of the most useful guides to the murky world of international corporate politics ever published. It exposes the colonisation of Europe's public institutions by bodies seeking to run them for strictly private purposes.
"Europe Inc." is the result of years of investigation and analysis, by researchers who have come to understand how Europe really works perhaps better than anyone else on earth. Every chapter is fully referenced and sourced: the claims it makes are demonstrable and sound. This is a terrifying account, but it is also an inspiring one. The first shot in the twenty-first century's information war, it will smash a massive hole in the corporate defenses through which we, the disenfranchised, can pour. No one who reads this book will ever be naked on the information battlefield again.