Cars, drinks and money from companies for EU chairmanships must stop

31 January 2023

Cars, drinks and money from companies for EU chairmanships must stop

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A Politico report shows that there are few rules for EU chairmanships on taking gifts from companies. The chairmanship rotates among European countries every six months. Sweden is the current chairman and it is precisely there that doors open wide for companies to 'sponsor' events. In practice, this sponsorship means companies give drinks, cars and cash.

SP MP Jasper van Dijk submitted parliamentary questions to minister Hoekstra: 'Surely it is absurd that big companies as well as European countries operate so shamelessly. This kind of thing is exactly what makes people lose faith in the EU, and you cannot blame them. This has to stop very soon and the Netherlands has to take the lead. And when the Netherlands takes over the presidency shortly, there must be no millimetre of elbow room for companies to be able to do shady things like this.'

  1. What do you think about the fact that Sweden during their EU chairmanship offers opportunities for corporate sponsorship? Could you please explain your answer? 
  2. Do you agree that interference by large companies in European decision-making is unacceptable? Please explain your answer. 
  3. Do you agree that corporate sponsorship of EU chairmanships damages confidence in European decision-making? Please explain your answer.
  4.  Are you willing to address your Swedish counterpart and the Chair of the European Council on the issue of this opening for corporate sponsorship? If not, why not? 
  5. Do you share the view that ensuring the integrity of European decision-making should take precedence over "cutting costs" of the EU chairmanship? 
  6. Will you promise that during the upcoming Dutch EU chairmanship these forms of sponsorship will not be allowed? If not, why not?

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