Propaganda by Proxy: How the EU funds green lobby groups
IPN Press release
Contact: Marc Sidwell 07787348885, marc |AT| policynetwork.net
For immediate release
LONDON, 8 MARCH — A new report published today by International Policy Network finds that between 1998 and 2009, the European Commission’s environment unit has handed out over €66 million in core funding to green NGOs.
The report - “Friends of the EU” – analyses one coalition of green NGOs called the “Green 10” and finds that its members receive hundreds of thousands of Euros each year from the EU.
• Nine out of the Green 10 receive funds from the Commission.
• Eight members receive one-third or more of their income from the Commission.
• Five of those – which include the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe and the Health and Environment Alliance – rely on the Commission for more than half of their funding.
The Green 10 has consistently lobbied the EU for yet more money and power.
• The Green 10 lobbied to “green” the EU’s Cohesion Fund, which distributes about €50 billion to projects in the EU every year.
• The Green 10 demanded a seat for an environmental NGO on every single project committee, the reimbursement of expenses, as well as training and capacity building.
• Having failed to obtain these self-serving demands, the Green 10 is already lobbying in anticipation of the 2014-2020 budget.
Caroline Boin, co-author of “Friends of the EU,” said:
“The EU is buying itself the illusion of democracy by funding large green lobby groups – all at the expense of European citizens. This self-serving scheme will do little to calm public anger at the EU’s democratic deficit.”
The report is available here: http://policynetwork.net/accountability/publication/friends-eu.
This report analyses one programme of funding, in which DG Environment (the division of the European Commission responsible for environmental affairs) distributed over €66 million to environmental NGOs between 1998-2009.
The grants the Green 10 receives from the EU have increased significantly between 1998 and 2009: by 900% for Birdlife Europe and 325% for Friends of the Earth Europe between 1998 and 2009.