Amazon Lobbyists Banned from European Parliament For Failing to Testify

Amazon Europe

Online retail behemoth Amazon actively lobbies European political institutions to help increase its profits. However, the company twice refused to testify on labor concerns in the last two years and denied official delegations access to warehouses. After Members of the European Parliament and NGOs complained, the company’s access to European Parliament buildings was revoked in February 2024.

"This is an important victory against one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Amazon's utter disregard for democratic scrutiny of its exploitative business model will not be tolerated," Bram Vranken, campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory.

Amazon Europe

Online retail giant Amazon has European annual revenues of approximately €50 billion (10 percent of its global revenue) derived mostly from Germany and the United Kingdom. It operates 76 warehouses and employs some 220,000 workers across the continent. Amazon is also working on a government data “cloud” - similar to Amazon Web Service used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.

Lobbying Brussels

Amazon spent €2.75 million lobbying the EU institutions in 2022 with 13 different lobby firms. It declared support for over 60 business associations, 15 think tanks and forums, and one NGO. Activists have uncovered at least two other undeclared think tanks funded by the company. Amazon also spent another €3.6 million on lobbying in France and Germany, two of its biggest markets in Europe.

No Show

Members of the European Parliament invited Amazon to testify twice in the last two years on worker abuses, notably after 2020 revelations that Amazon had a team dedicated to spying on unions and labor organizing at its warehouses in 9 countries across Europe. The company refused. It also denied entry to a delegation of members of the European Parliament that asked for permission to visit its warehouses in Germany and Poland.

"This is not a serious way to treat the European Parliament. We are representing 500 million citizens and it is not a joke. You cannot just say that your senior representatives are not available when the parliament is asking you,” Dragoș Pîslaru, EU's chairman of committee on employment and social affairs.

Revoke Their Badges!

The European Parliament’s Committee on Employment decided to teach Amazon a lesson by revoking its access to their buildings. In early 2024, the committee sent a request to the Parliament President Roberta Metsola to revoke the badges of Amazon’s 14 staff. A coalition of 30 NGOs and unions – like Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl, SOMO and UNI Europa – wrote a public letter in support.


On February 27th 2024, the College of Quaestors of the European Parliament approved the request – making Amazon only the second company to be banned from the Parliament in history. (Monsanto was banned in 2017 because it refused to take part in hearings on the health impacts of glyphosate.) The action can, however, be reversed if Amazon shows "sufficient willingness” to cooperate.

Company response

“We are very disappointed with this decision, as we want to engage constructively with policymakers. 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.” Amazon spokesperson.

This is #83 in our series of Instagram infographics on resistance against corporate power.

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