EU Policy. Amazon lobbyists banned from European Parliament, lawmakers decide

Withdrawal of badges comes after demand from lawmakers on the Employment committee.
Withdrawal of badges comes after demand from lawmakers on the Employment committee. Copyright Mark Lennihan/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Kroet
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Withdrawal of badges comes after demand from lawmakers on the Employment committee.

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Amazon lobbyists are to be banned from entering the European Parliament premises in Brussels, an internal political body decided last night (27 February). They aligned with lawmakers on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee who requested the withdrawal of Amazon access badges earlier this month.

The quaestors – an internal group elected to oversee administrative matters affecting lawmakers – advised the Secretary General to withdraw the long-term access badges of the representatives of Amazon, a spokesperson for the parliament confirmed to Euronews.

Lawmaker Dragoș Pîslaru, chair of the Employment Committee said in a statement that "the 14 long-term access badges will be revoked and no new ones will be issued until further notice."

"We understand that Amazon is ready to cooperate from now on, it just remains to be seen how this will happen in practice in the next legislature and if lessons were truly learned," Pîslaru said. 

Lobbied

The move follows a call from the employment committee asking for the measure after Amazon failed to attend a series of hearings and factory visits in 2021 and 2023.

The committee sent a request to the parliament president earlier this month (6 February) after the US online marketplace also failed to participate in a parliamentary hearing scheduled for 23 January.

“It is unreasonable for members to be lobbied by Amazon while at the same time being deprived of the right to represent the interests of European citizens and inquire about claims of breaches of fundamental rights enshrined in EU Treaties and EU labour laws,” the lawmakers’ letter said.

The politicians wanted to have discussions and visits to better understand media reports suggesting potential monitoring of Amazon's workers along with other business and workplace practices.

Last week, the Conference of Presidents, the leaders of the different political groups in parliament, sided with the lawmakers.

Amazon said it was “very disappointed with this decision" in a statement .

“Amazon regularly participates in activities organized by the European Parliament and other EU institutions – including Parliamentary hearings – and we remain committed to participating in balanced, constructive dialogue on issues that affect European citizens,” a spokesperson said.

“We have repeatedly expressed our willingness to engage with members of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee and have on several occasions invited them to visit our facilities. That invitation still stands,” the statement added.

This story has been updated to include a statement from lawmaker__Dragoș Pîslaru.

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