BMW, Daimler and Porsche win public vote for “Worst EU Lobbying Award” and German Atomic Forum

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German car manufacturers BMW, Daimler and Porsche were disgraced�recently when they were named winners of a public poll for the ‘Worst EU Lobbying’ Award 2007. The German Atomic Forum was also named and shamed with a special prize for ‘Worst EU Greenwash’ at a ceremony in Brussels [1] hosted by the award organisers Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, LobbyControl and SpinWatch.�

BMW, Daimler and Porsche - nominated together in the worst EU lobbying category - gained more than 30 percent of the vote. Their joint lobbying offensive designed to water-down and delay the mandatory CO2 emission reduction targets proposed by the Commission after voluntary targets were not met [2] was deemed to be the worst and most deceptive by voters across Europe.

“BMW, Daimler and Porsche are the worst among the car industry lobbyists,” explains Erik
Wesselius from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). “When the Commission proposed compulsory CO2
targets, the car companies reacted immediately with a lobby campaign full of misinformation and
Decision-makers were manipulated with grossly exaggerated threats of factory closures and job
losses. The outcome of this year’s ‘Worst EU Lobbying Awards’ shows that European citizens
strongly object to this type of manipulative and dishonest lobbying.”

The special greenwash prize for the most audacious attempts to gain unjustifiable green
credentials was awarded to the German Atomic Forum, which received more than a third of votes
cast. It was nominated for its campaign aimed at improving the image of nuclear energy. Under
the slogan “Germany’s unloved climate protectionists” it featured images of nuclear power
plants placed in unpolluted and unspoilt natural environments. [3]

“The German Atomic Forum took advantage of the public’s concern about climate change to promote
nuclear energy,” says Ulrich Mueller from LobbyControl. “The one-sided ads use idyllic pictures
of nature to gain public acceptance of longer lifespans for old nuclear power plants, ignoring
the associated risks. The victory of the German Atomic Forum for worst greenwash shows that the
public will not be conned by these attempts to gain unwarranted green credentials.”

The runners-up to BMW, Daimler and Porsche in the worst EU lobbying category were EPACA
(European Public Affairs Consultancies Association) for its high-profile campaign against the
European Commission’s plans for a lobby transparency register, and PR consultancy Cabinet
Stewart for running the International Council for Capital Formation - a fake European
think-tank that serves as a front organisation for mainly US-based opponents of the Kyoto

In the worst greenwash category the German Atomic Forum took the prize ahead of runners-up� BAE
Systems - nominated for promoting deadly weapons as environmentally friendly, and oil giant
ExxonMobil - for purporting to be reducing� greenhouse gas emissions when in reality its
emissions are increasing.

More than 6600 people across Europe participated in the online poll to decide the winners of
the awards.[4]

Through the Worst EU Lobbying Awards, the organisers aim to raise public awareness of
controversial lobbying practices in Brussels. This year’s awards coincide with debate in the
European Parliament about new lobbying rules, as a response to the European Transparency
Initiative (ETI) proposed by Commissioner Kallas.

“The dubious behaviour of this year’s nominees demonstrates precisely why we need more
effective transparency and ethics rules around EU lobbying. The European Parliament must act to
oblige lobbyists to disclose who they are lobbying on whose behalf and how much money is
involved,” says Christine Pohl of Friends of the Earth Europe.

“By voting in large numbers for the European Public Affairs Consultancies Association (EPACA),
who are actively campaigning against EU lobby disclosure rules, European citizens have spoken
out in favour of greater lobbying transparency,” Ms Pohl added. [5]

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1. BMW phone kits - November 13, 2008

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2. BMW Parts - February 25, 2009

Lobbyists need to be stopped.

3. bmw - June 30, 2009

Pretty cool post. I just came across your blog and wanted to say
that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Any way
I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

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