EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Think tanks should ‘think European’ to fight global challenges‘:

Europe has great independent experts from different member states, academics and NGOs. A think tank is a contracted lobby agency that produces agitation for the benefit of its contractors. We have many of them in the EU. They mostly serve a negative, not-at-all transparent role and are financed by foreign money.

The best way forward for Brussels is to adopt a ‘Foreign Lobby Transparency Act’. Basically, if we threw the Americans out of Brussels and listened to real European stakeholders instead, an EU democracy would be feasible.

My opinion is that stakeholders from third nations should only act through their business chamber representation. The Commission, however, tends to invite 40% ‘experts’ from the US and 40% from dummy European representation groups funded by the EU executive.

It can’t work that way. Public affairs people tend to deliver stereotypical positions. Consultants tend to advocate for more consultancy. The Commission needs to get back on the ground, in the market.

For example, take a look at the EU’s Small Business Act. Big business is repackaging its demands as an SME. They even talked about what to teach our kids. It is no surprise that the title, SBA, copies a US initiative. The whole package is so cynical.

Ideology doesn’t matter, because lobby professionals are flexible enough to package their stuff under any ideological banner.

Karsten

Private citizen

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