The European Parliament allowed for a further step towards EU militarisation and the development of controversial weapons

03 July 2018 – Press release – Brussels – Today the European Parliament adopted the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) proposed by the European Commission in June 2017, as a precursor of the future European Defence Fund. The European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) is highly concerned by the adoption of such programme to subsidize the arms industry.

By accepting the EDIDP, the European Parliament enshrines the EU paradigm shift towards hard security and military answers to complex problems, as well as the over-influence of the military-industrial complex on EU policy developments: the same companies that are advising the EU will then be the main beneficiaries of this funding.

“More weapons will not bring peace but will only lead to more refugees. We should stop the arms trade that forces people to flee” says Wendela de Vries, co-ordinator at Stop Wapenhandel.

This programme will divert €500 million from the EU 2019-2020 budgets to the development of new weapons, including controversial military technology such as unmanned and autonomous systems. This will pave the way to European armed drones and possibly killer-robots, that could then be used and sold outside Europe according to Member States national interests.

“Rather than contributing to peace, such programme will exacerbate the global arms race, which in turn feeds violent conflicts to the detriment of dialogue and diplomacy” adds Ann Feltham, Parliamentary co-ordinator at CAAT UK.

ENAAT and its members will continue monitoring the implementation of this programme and alerting the general public about further worrying developments. “Indeed the Defence Fund for 2021-2027 could pour €13 billion to the arms industry from the EU budget only, more than it would dedicate to humanitarian aid! And dozens of billions more would come from national contributions. Pretending that this will provide security to European citizens is a misleading message” says Laëtitia Sédou, programme officer at ENAAT.

The European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) is an informal network of peace groups and individuals who see the arms trade as a threat to peace, security and development, and the arms industry as a driving force behind the global arms race.

More information:

ENAAT Online Information Tool on the European Defence Fund

Vredesactie Report: Securing Profits, How the Arms Lobby is hijacking Europe’s Defence Policy, by Bram Vrancken

Open Statement to MEPs: “stop EU funding to military R&D

Press release: Over 700 researchers call on colleagues to speak out against EU military research programme

Press release: The European Defence Fund will merely benefit the industry and trigger arms race in autonomous weapons, says ENAAT

Opinion article: Support for the arms industry will not make the world a safer place

Opinion article: EU should give more funds to peace, not subsidise the arms industry

Opinion article: How the arms industry is staging a European coup

Opinion article: EU defence policy ready for psychiatric treatment



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