/EU warns France over lobbying in rule-of-law report

EU warns France over lobbying in rule-of-law report

BRUSSELS – The European Commission Wednesday said France should do more to apply corporate lobbying rules, in a warning that landed as President Emmanuel Macron was under pressure over his ties with US ride-hailing firm Uber. In its annual report on the state of the rule of law in the European Union, the commission said that in France a “significant number of concerns remain as regard the application of rules on lobbying for all relevant actors, including at top executive level”. The criticism of France follows the revelations of the “Uber Files”, a vast investigation by journalists based on thousands of internal company documents. Amongst a trove of other details, The Guardian and Le Monde revealed privileged exchanges between Macron when he was economy minister and Uber. The Commission, which did not refer to the scandal or Macron, said the French authority responsible for tracking and limiting the impact of lobbying “lacks human and technical resources”. The report also pointed a harsh light on Poland and Hungary, where Brussels said democracy and fundamental rights were still under threat.   Poland was pilloried above all for the lack of independence of the judiciary, while in Hungary the commission criticised the failure to adequately prosecute high-level corruption cases.


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