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German firms top EU lobbying list

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German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA
09:18 CEST+02:00
Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium.

According to data extracted from LobbyFacts.eu, a new online tool which has attempted to give a more accurate picture than the unreliable EU lobby register, Siemens and Bayer AG are the fifth and ninth biggest lobbyers at the EU.

They spent €4.35 million and €2.76 million in 2013 respectively.

The data shows that the top ten companies spending on EU lobby activities are: Philip Morris International, ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical, Microsoft, Shell Companies, Siemens, GDF SUEZ, General Electric Company, Huawei Technologies, Bayer, and Telekom Austria Group.

They have a combined lobby expenditure of over €39 million per year.

Other German companies among the big spenders are Daimler Aktiengesellschaft, Evonik Industries, E.ON and Deutsche Post DHL.

US corporations are the biggest spenders in Brussels lobbying.

Germany has 851 registered lobby organizations, according to the data, the most in Europe after Belgium. But Belgium’s figures are distorted by the number of groups registered in Brussels and lobbying for interests in other countries. 

Natacha Cingotti of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “What we see is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Given the lack of a mandatory register, too much of the lobbying directed at EU institutions is shrouded in secrecy, with numerous lobby groups and law firms shunning disclosure or under-reporting their lobby budgets.”

SEE ALSO: How does Austria compare in EU lobbying?

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