EU’s industry alliances need stricter oversight, say green critics

(EurActiv, 4 May 2021) Ahead of the European Commission’s new industrial strategy proposal, expected on Wednesday (5 May), Friends of the Earth has compiled a report exposing the influence of business associations in shaping policy through industrial alliances.

The Commission is expected to announce more industry alliances on Wednesday, including new ones on renewable energy and low-carbon fuels.

These alliances, like the Clean Hydrogen Alliance and the Battery Alliance, are set up by the European Commission, and bring together national authorities, regions, industry research institutes and other stakeholders to push forward European industry in a sector considered of strategic importance.

But while they do include trade unions and NGOs, they give industry a chance to shape European policy to suit their interests, said Myriam Douo, one of the co-authors of the report at Friends of the Earth.

“At the very, very least there should be a very big consideration on transparency and composition and mandate, and who steers those alliances,” she says.

The report, which will be published on Wednesday, looks into the EU executive’s reliance on a new wave of industrial alliances that began in 2017 with the European Battery Alliance. It says alliances allow the industry to frame the debate because they establish privileged communication channels between business groups and policymakers.

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EurActiv, 4 May 2021: EU’s industry alliances need stricter oversight, say green critics