(05 March 2019) – NGO foodwatch has taken exception to Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. Bucharest says everything has been done transparently and in line with legal criteria.
Companies can sponsor these events and Coca-Cola already entered into an agreement with the Polish Presidency in 2011. This time, the firm is a “platinum sponsor,” a status reserved for businesses which provide €40,000 in sponsorship and gives them to right to display their promotional material.
This does not make it any easier to accept multinationals at high-level political summits, particularly in the run-up to European elections marked by a growing distrust of institutions and their independence. This is particularly true when it comes to Coca-Cola, a few months before a revision of food legislation which could look into the idea of taxing sugar, as well as holding discussions on nutrition labelling on food packaging.
The NGO has therefore launched a petition in Germany, France and the Netherlands to call on the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to establish rules to prevent any potential future conflicts of interest. In an open letter to Donald Tusk and Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, foodwatch also called for the partnership to be ended. (EurActiv)