EU Presidency Criticised for Coca-Cola Sponsorship

Getty Images

The Romanian presidency of the European Union has been slammed by NGO Foodwatch for partnering and being “sponsored” by Coca-Cola.

Foodwatch released a letter and petition to both Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and European Council President Donald Tusk claiming that the partnership with Coca-Cola was collusion between political elites and corporate interests, L’Obs reports.

“This collusion between EU bodies and corporate interests further undermines citizens’ confidence in European politics and decision makers, while on the contrary, it is essential to strengthen transparency and democracy in Europe,” the group said.

“The presidency must be neutral and impartial during the period of the exercise of the mandate,” Foodwatch added and noted that the European Union will be looking into issues affecting Coca-Cola in the coming months.

“Policymakers in the European Union will have to consider, for example, the revision of food law, as well as the important issue of nutrition labelling on food packaging,” they said and added, “this type of sponsorship is part of a lobbying strategy to counter the implementation of such measures.”

Coca-Cola advertising was also highly visible during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in late January with the company logos present on signs, soft drinks, and other items.

The accusations are not the first time the EU has been accused of being too cosy with corporations and vice versa. Earlier this month, key Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage slammed the BBC for taking around £4.2 million from the political bloc.

“The BBC claims that none of the millions it has received from the EU over the last decade find their way into its editorial budget,” Mr Farage said and added, “Yet if this is all so innocent, why doesn’t the BBC just come clean and tell the people about its cosy relationship with the EU?”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.