Revelations in The Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Le Monde, and others, show that corporate capture is alive and kicking in the Brussels bubble. Aggressive lobbying, revolving doors and laissez-faire attitude to transparency allowed Uber to capture the EU market and seriously undermine workers’ rights and health and safety laws – pitting drivers against each other and reaping the rewards in the boardroom.

This is a tale of corporate greed destroying democracy and should be a wake-up call for European leaders. Instead, Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that he was ‘proud’ of supporting Uber’s lobbying drive in France. He should be reminded that politicians should serve the public interest, not corporations.

As Left MEP Leïla Chaibi (France Insoumise, France) says: “The ‘Uber files’ revelations do not surprise me. Since I’ve been elected and involved in the fight for platform workers’ rights, I’ve been confronted by Brussels’ revolving door politics and saw platform lobbying strategies, including backroom deals with Uber lobbyists.

Platform lobbyists are talking about Emmanuel Macron with stars in their eyes, as a model of what should be done in legislative matters. This is not surprising; Emmanuel Macron acts like a luxury goods salesman, pandering to Uber’s every need while dismantling workers’ rights. He has thrown all his weight behind preventing the European Union from legislating in favour of platform workers. Then, the French Presidency of the Council took every opportunity to sabotage from within; stalling the work in the Council and trying to scrap the “presumption of employment relationship” in the directive to protect the rights of platform workers.

We need a thorough investigation into Uber’s shadowy lobbying activities in the European Institutions, including full disclosure of meetings, messages and documents – especially in light of ongoing negotiations for this directive.”

The Left is pressing to have a debate and vote in the plenary of the European Parliament in September.

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