Monday

28th Sep 2020

Juncker all but stopped meeting lobbyists

  • EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (l) meeting with the CEO of ArcelorMittal - one of the few lobbyists Juncker met this year (Photo: European Commission)

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has only met four lobbyists so far in 2018, according to the commission's official register.

While this is already one more than the entire last year, it seems to be part of a downward trend.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • In February, Juncker visited Montenegro and met with Ivan Brajovic, president of the Montenegrin parliament. Such political meetings are not included in the public meetings register (Photo: European Commission)

Juncker met 28 "organisations and self-employed individuals" in 2015, 16 in 2016, and three in 2017.

Juncker's spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud confirmed to EUobserver that the president's register entries are "up to date", so there are no meetings held which have not yet been reported.

She explained the low number by referring to Juncker's usual counterparts at meetings: politicians.

"The vast majority of his meetings are with heads of state or government or other members of government, so not needing to be declared in the register," said Bertaud.

This was also true in years where Juncker met more lobbyists, though. The fact that Juncker hardly meets any non-governmental interest groups or companies, makes it even more symbolic who he decides to spend his time with.

Juncker's most recent meeting with a lobbyist was on 7 May with Josef Ackermann, chairman of the Bank of Cyprus and former CEO of Deutsche Bank.

Other meetings this year were with Luxembourg-based multinational steel giant ArcelorMittal's CEO Lakshmi Mittal; Guillaume Klossa, founder of the EuropaNova think tank; and the Association of German banks.

Last year, Juncker met with representatives from Euronews, the Open Society European Policy Institute – a part of the Open Society Foundation – and the Deposits and Consignments Fund, a French public sector financial institution.

When Juncker took office in November 2014, his college of commissioners was the first to proactively publish regularly which lobbyists they were meeting.

The website Integrity Watch has visualised that data, and showed that of the 28 members of the commission, Guenther Oettinger is the most active.

Oettinger, who began as digital economy commissioner and was then moved to the post of commissioner in charge of the budget, has had a total of 662 meetings under Juncker.

He is followed by climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete (577), digital single market vice-president Andrus Ansip (453) and jobs & growth vice-president Jyrki Katainen (291).

The vast majority of meetings commissioners had was with corporate lobbyists – 70 percent of meetings. The second largest category of meetings (21 percent) was non-governmental organisations, followed by think tanks (4 percent).

This article was updated on Tuesday 15 May, 12:09PM, to correct that commissioner Oettinger does not hold the title vice-president

Interview

Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me

Vice-president of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen tells EUobserver that he did most of the talking during a beer with the former commission chief, who now works for Goldman Sachs.

EUobserved

Juncker too tight in his EU suit

The European Commission president floated ideas on what his institution could look like. But faced with the member state powers, he failed to lay out a structured vision.

Exclusive

'Big Three' EP groups nominate homophobe for Sakharov prize

The centre-right EPP, centre-left S&D, and liberal Renew Europe have all nominated a homophobe for the Sakharov prize - the prestigious annual prize handed out by the European Parliament to people who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Opinion

Why so few women in EU missions?

Angela Merkel is only the seventh woman to chair the Council of the European Union's meetings. And in 2020 there is no woman leading any of the current 11 European civilian missions (let alone the six military operations).

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Caucasus warfare prompts EU alarm
  2. Summit reloaded and last Brexit round This WEEK
  3. EU denies 'clandestine' mission on Venezuela election date
  4. Between the lines, Europe's new Moria unfolds
  5. Now's the time to give QMV a chance in EU foreign policy
  6. European hiccups on the way to West Africa
  7. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  8. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us