Swiss-based firms spend tens of millions lobbying Brussels

Thelikes of tobacco company Philip Morris invest millions in trying to influence EU lawmakers. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Companies based in Switzerland spent between €44 million and €60 million (CHF48-66 million) lobbying European Union bodies, according to the monitoring organisation Lobbywatch.

This content was published on February 28, 2021 - 15:38

The chemicals industry invested the most money (up to €8.4 million) in presenting their arguments to top EU officials on proposed regulations, legislation and other matters. The Swiss-based Dow Europe spent up to €2.75 million while pharmaceutical company Novartis weighed in with upwards of €2.5 million and crop protection firm Syngenta spent some €1.75 million.

The pharma industry came second in the list of sector-based spendersExternal link, followed by banks and the environmental industry. Tobacco firms collectively invested some €2.4 million in Brussels last year.

Lobbywatch collated its data from the EU’s transparency registerExternal link, which contains information on 275 companies and organisations with their headquarters in Switzerland. Companies must publish their lobbying expenditure in bandwidths of spending. Switzerland has rejected such transparency to monitor lobbying.

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.