Balanced expert groups

expert groups cartoon

The Commission’s advisory groups provide expert advice on specific issues, which is often used to shape new policies or even to form the backbone of new legislation. The Commission’s reliance on advice from big business within these groups has been criticised, with MEPs urging action to ensure more balance.

Asymmetric Patterns in the Civil Society’s Access to the European Commission: The Cases of DG FISMA and DG TRADE

Publication date: 
jeudi, October 27, 2016
Giuseppe Montalbano
Media title: 
International Series on Public Policy

This chapter investigates the various factors that enable competing corporate and non-corporate organized interests to gain access to the European Commission’s policy-definition venues. It hypothesizes that, while economic relevance and lobbying resources ensure privileged access for business representatives at large, and in particular for the large European associations and firms, non-corporate organized groups improve their chances of access when the policy issues they address—together with the objectives they strive for—gain a sufficient degree of public and political salience.

How to improve troubled 'Expert Groups

Publication date: 
jeudi, April 14, 2016
ALTER-EU, BirdLife International, European Environmental Bureau, Transparency International

It's make or break time for the European Commission's advisory groups, known formally as Expert Groups. Vice President Frans Timmerman plans to bring out new horizontal rules to make the groups more balanced and more accountable, but will he listen to the concerns of the public?

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Public interest groups demand consultation on weak new rules for EU advisory groups

Publication date: 
mardi, February 23, 2016

A coalition of civil society groups working on lobbying transparency and ethics regulations have called on European Commission Vice President, Frans Timmermans, to wait until the European Parliament and the public have had a chance to comment before introducing new rules on advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups.

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Who advises the European Commission?

Publication date: 
lundi, September 1, 2014
Roundtable panel discussion
Start date: 
lun, 2014-09-08 18:30
Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU, 1st floor 30, Avenue de Cortenbergh, 1040 Brussels

Does big business really have privileged access to the European Commission? Why do corporate interests still dominate expert groups? What actions will the European Parliament take to better involve trade unions and civil society? Come to our event to find out!


A Year of Broken Promises: Big business still put in charge of EU Expert Groups, despite commitment to reform

Publication date: 
mercredi, November 6, 2013
Pascoe Sabido, Corporate Europe Observatory

Commission still putting big business in charge of key advisory groups, despite promise to reform

Download full document as pdf: 
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Press conference: What's in a Promise? Assessing if the Commission has tackled corporate dominance in its Expert Groups

Publication date: 
lundi, October 28, 2013
Start date: 
mer, 2013-11-06 13:30
Salon Room, International Press Centre, Résidence Palace (Rue de la Loi 155C)

Join us for a press conference to discuss our newest report exposing the corporate dominance of the Commission's expert groups.

ALTER-EU, AK EUROPA – the Brussels office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer), and the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB) invite you to a press conference for the launch of their new report which conclusively answers if the European Commission has kept its promise to MEPs – made in September 2012 – that it would tackle corporate capture in its advisory groups, aka Expert Groups.


- Pascoe Sabido (ALTER-EU)

- Dennis De Jong, MEP (GUE)



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