Better Living Through Chemistry — In the European Parliament

Until I read the transcript for this video, I didn’t know that major multinational corporations are able to (and do) sponsor parties in the European Parliament. If the solemn deliberations in Strasbourg are so similar to a NASCAR race, why not be up front about it and have the logos of the sponsors on the back of the MEPs’ jackets and dresses? Or they could wear special ball caps with “Sandoz” or “Burger King” emblazoned on the front.

The following news report from France reveals that Monsanto is one of the sponsors of ALDE, the party group in the EP that includes Emmanuel Macron’s party, la République en Marche.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   Last Thursday Marine Le Pen affirmed in an interview that the group Bayer-Monsanto,
00:04   which incidentally manufactures products containing glyphosate, was financing
00:08   ALDE, the party of Emmanuel Macron in the European Parliament.
00:12   This party is only an ally of laRem [la Republique en Marche], but it’s true that
00:16   it receives financing by Bayer-Monsanto and other companies. L’oeil du 20h [this program]
00:20   investigated: Julien Nény, Laurent Desbois and our Brussels office.
00:24   In France it’s impossible for companies to finance political parties.
00:29   It’s forbidden by the law. In the European Parliament, on the other hand — no problem.
00:33   Any multinational company can donate money to parties.
00:37   Is there, in Brussels, some sort of a conflict of interest?
00:41   In November 2018
00:45   ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe] organized its congress in Madrid.
00:49   On that day la République en Marche [Macron’s party] sends an emissary
00:54   to announce its alliance with the centrist European party.
00:58   ALDE is the core with which En Marche wants to build
01:02   this coalition. We had a look at the program of this
01:06   political congress and surprise! — it was partially financed by
01:10   large companies, and not insignificant ones at that: Google, Walt Disney, Microsoft and even
01:14   Bayer: the manufacturer of glyphosate since its purchase of Monsanto. According to
01:19   the European Parliament, since the last elections in 2014, the companies donated
01:23   over €425 thousand to ALDE, far more of other
01:27   European parties, which have French MPs. Legal donations up to €18 thousand
01:31   per year per company, but which raises the question of the conflict of interest.
01:35   This financing allows them more important influence in politics
01:39   in a biased democracy. Because you don’t have ‘one citizen, one voice’; you have
01:43   ‘whoever has the most money has the most influence’. The ALDE spokesperson
01:48   admits, and reminds us that those donations represent less than 4% of his budget
01:52   We can totally refuse if it’s in conflict with what we are saying, or
01:56   again if we fear that there’s an expectation of something in return.
02:00   And this isn’t at all the objective of this cooperation. Explanations which don’t really reassure
02:04   its new ally: En Marche. The director of the campaign for the European elections
02:09   says he has just discovered the existence of those donations. Those aren’t good
02:13   practices, anyway, not for political parties, which must be
02:17   independent in their process of legislating, therefore
02:21   it might also be necessary to put back on the table this type of financing [discuss it again],
02:25   these types of practices. They are forbidden in France. They also need to be
02:29   forbidden in Europe. The multinationals in question which were contacted [by us] preferred
02:34   to talk about “sponsorship” rather than “political financing”.
02:37   No reason to raise suspicions of a conflict of interest.

3 thoughts on “Better Living Through Chemistry — In the European Parliament

  1. “…major multinational corporations are able to (and do) sponsor parties in the European Parliament…”

    This is depressing but not surprising.

    The UN has made it known that they are now giving the private sector an increasingly active and important role in helping achieve the goals of Agenda 2030. This special status is sometimes described as one of the ‘Estates’ or ‘Partners’ of the UN. Although the private sector, throughout the years, has often had many roles to play in the work of the UN, the goal is to raise it to a new and much more powerful position. Most government run public services for example are now viewed as best turned over to the private sector. We now see the EU’s increasing use of the public sector in many areas of the entire immigration issue.

    • Also, it is planned that the UN will create a system in which the private sector players in the UN will have voting rights.

      google terms such as ‘UN private sector’ ‘Agenda 2030 private sector’

  2. ALDE – Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe.

    Why would that be a conflict of interest for the EU? It goes right to the heart of the EU’s core values. /sarcasm

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