The Brussels Business

Synopsis: THE BRUSSELS BUSINESS is a docu-thriller that dives into the grey zone underneath European democracy. An expedition into the world of the 15,000 lobbyists in the EU-capital, of the PR-conglomerates, think tanks and their all embracing networks of power and their close ties to the political elites.
85 min

People dont understand ...

... what the European Union is.

They dont understand

how it is governed.

They dont know who are

the people who runing it.

But they know that they were

not chosen by the people.

And so, when they see the results

less than perfect, they say, ...

... 'Who do we blame?'

And they dont know

who to blame ...

... because they dont know

who these people are.

When I started out as a young

environmental activist, ...

... I had no idea that I should end up as

watch-dog in the Brussels machinery.

But I was stunned

to the discover ...

... how fragile political

decision-making process is.

And to realize how easily

it can be manipulated.

There is a dark force

behind this machinery.

An entire industry

operating in the shadow.

Often in secrecy

and very confidential.

This industry is

the lobby industry.

For 20 years now, I've

been fighting to uncover ...

... who are these people who are

pulling the strings of the EU decisions.

How do they operate?

And how they are linked

to the EU political elite?


Oh yes, good evening.

I'd like to speak

to Rafael, please.

Oh, he's not there. Listen, I'd like

to leave a message for tomorrow.

I just want to confirm

the meeting ...

... that we have fixed.

My name is Mr. Kerneis.

Pascal Kerneis. K, E, R, N, E, I, S.

Yes, from the European

Services Forum, ESF.

Yes, and we have

meeting tomorrow, but ...

... I did get time today to

confirm. I want to do it now.

Is that ok? Yes?

Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

Well, Brussels is a small city,

kind of a province city, ...

... but that is

only the surface.

And then, when you know

a bit further about it, ...

... Brussels is a

really good place.

This is where the business taking place.

This is where legislation start.

I think that the figure is

around 80% of all legislations ...

... which are touching

direct life of EU citizens, ...

... is actually initiated

here in Brussels.

If you look at

place Schuman, ...

... the epicenter of political

power in Europe, ...

... you see the European

Commission on the one side ...

... next to the

Council of EU.

And all around that square

you'll find lobby offices.

Most of them belonging to

big multinational corporations.

You'll find them also

in all side streets.

All over to the European

Parliament and beyond.

You'll find the lobby headquarters

of large corporations.

You'll find industry

lobby groups and their ...

... lobby operations been orchestrated

from the offices in that area.

2500 lobby structures

are based in Brussels.

15 thousand lobbyists.

The second biggest

lobby industry in the world.

Only Washington DC is bigger.

So, EU legislation is ...

... complicated and goes

through a lot of stages.

It always start with a

European Commission.

They take new initiatives

for legislation, for policies ...

... and it goes through the institutions.

Parliament, the Council of Ministers.

And from the moment that

the European Commission ...

... take very first steps in developing

new legislation or new policies, ...

... Industry wants to be

there to influence it.

Administration is not

really for me, so I really ...

... want to have the

possibility to go and work ...

... for the private sector,

where I'll decide myself ...

... what I will do.

I thought that is much more ...

... something for me.

And then I discovered a business

around the European institutions.

And I started

to be a lobbyist.

You know, we ...

Everybody believe about ...

... the lawmakers

are institutions.

A institution in the

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Brussels Business" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 May 2021. <>.

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