EU: Don’t invest in weapons

28 August 2019, 12:14

The European Union’s political project, which was founded on peace, human rights and disarmament, is under attack.

The European Commission, under heavy pressure from the arms industry, is planning to budget thousands of millions of euros of public money to develop advanced military technology for the first time ever since the Union exists.

Although they are presenting this as ‘defense’, the truth is the goal of these subsidies is to preserve the competitiveness of the arms industry and its capacity to export abroad, including to countries contributing to instability and taking part in deadly conflicts

Since 2017, large amounts of EU funding has been allocated to military research and development: 90 million Euro were set aside for the Preparatory Action for Defence Research 2017 – 2019, with another allocation of 500 million Euro for the European defence industrial development programme 2019 – 2020.

The Commission has been pushing for the “defence sector” to become a priority in existing funding opportunities, from the structural and regional funds to development aid,

But that is not all.

Proposals included in the next EU budget cycle (Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021 – 2027) represent another step in this direction, with the  approval of even greater financial and human resources earmarked for military and security “solutions”: this increase in funding for security, border controls and defence is unprecedented.

It is clear that after several years of persistent and behind the scenes work, the arms industry lobby has rallied the support of some European countries and institutions’ officials to help them make a case for public subsidies in the form of ‘research’.

Unless the EU starts prioritising policies and instruments for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the resolution of their root causes, there is a serious risk that more conflicts in the future will be triggered.


What we can do?

Open letter to Members of the European Parliament: the EU peace project is under threat. (Promoted by ENAAT).

Monday, 2 September 2019. As a coalition of 61 organisations we are writing to express our deep concern about a number of policy proposals which, taken together, call into question the EU’s founding values of human rights, peace and disarmament.

Read the letter >>

Ask to EU: don’t invest in weapons. Sign the petition! (Promoted by ENAAT and WeMove.EU)

Halt the inclusion of arms industry research into the new EU budget. No EU money should go to military technology. Research money should go to projects developing nonviolent ways of preventing and resolving conflicts, and in particular tackling root-causes of instability.

Sign the petition >>