I had never heard about this before:
The controversial practice of picking corporate sponsors for the European Union‘s rotating presidency is to continue, despite an outcry from MEPs.
EU countries have been raising eyebrows by doing deals with increasingly controversial multinational corporations during their stints overseeing debates at the EU council.
Romania’s presidency in the first half of 2019 was sponsored by Coca-Cola, with the US drinks giant’s logo plastered over banners and signs at meetings. One council summit in Bucharest featured Coca-Cola branded bean bag chairs, and a fridge of free drinks plastered with statistics about the company’s contribution to the economy.
Other sponsors of the council presidency have included car manufacturers, software companies, and other firms with vested interests in influencing EU policy.
But hopes that the incoming Finnish presidency, which took the helm this summer, might end the practice, were dashed after it picked German car manufacturer BMW as a sponsor – despite the firm being hit with a fine over its cars’ diesel emissions earlier this year.