Privileged Access to the EU’s Decision Process
Because of Veolia’s set up to exercise influence over the EU, “Corporate Europe Observatory“ gave the multinational company the best grade for “Having the highest and most privileged access to the EU’s decision process”. This influence is two-fold: first, pressure is applied to impose more expensive and energy-intensive sanitation techniques to be used instead of measures being taken for the preservation of water resources. Secondly, Veolia attempts to influence the passing of directives which will be detrimental to their competitors, particularly official water suppliers. Veolia’s efforts to have water considered as an ordinary commodity subjected to the EU’s competition guidelines were supported by the EU Commission. However, these efforts were in vain, as the EU Parliament firmly rejected the motion in 2004. Since then, Veolia and Suez have joined forces to launch a campaign “for efficient structures in water management”. This campaign particularly targeted the supposedly inefficient motley of the many small and very small suppliers, particularly in Germany, but also in many other European countries. In a meeting with the EU Commissar for Business Competition, Veolia’s representatives complained of discrimination in favour of official water suppliers, who should be forced to more transparency and openness towards the Global Players through the application of compulsory benchmarks (comparative references).