The Arms industry dominates EU Defence Policy

Amsterdam, July 4, 2005.  A TNI and CtW Report on how the EU allows defence industry lobbying to determine policies on security, defence and arms trade

The European Union Defence policy is increasingly influenced by the interests of the arms industry. The arms industry was deeply involved in the drafting of the European Convention and is also over-represented in many influential advisory committees on an EU level. This way, the interests of the arms industry have taken a central role in the determination of EU policy, as is shown in the report released today “The emerging EU Military-Industrial Complex” Arms industry lobbying in Brussels“, by Frank Slijper in cooperation with the Transnational Institute.

For the past several years, dozens of CEO’s and other top level personalities from the arms industry have participated in advisory committees on military research, naval industry and military space and aviation programmes. “If the EU really wants to alter the negative image of an undemocratic institution dominated by corporate agendas, it should – right now – end the backroom policy making processes”, says Frank Slijper. “It is ludicrous how in this crucial policy area, the industry is allowed to become so central in policy making processes.”

At a time when the EU is taking on a new military posture and assuming new military tasks, the involvement of the arms industry for Brussels policy making is growing rapidly. The number of arms industry instigated lunches and conferences is indicative and alarming. These are the ideal occasions for EU policy brokers, top level military officials and CEO’s from the defence industry to strategise on new, and always industry friendly policies. Yet, outside the small circle of lobby-watchers, little is known about the intense relations between those who profit from the policies and those who make them. This Report, “The Emerging EU Military-Industrial Complex – Arms industry lobbying in Brussels”, is a useful guide to those who want to know more about how policy is made in small circles in Brussels. It is also a structured and thorough analysis of how the Eurocrats gave a central role to the industry rather than to democratic institutions in shaping and determining EU defence and security policies.

For more information, please contact:
Frank Slijper (author): +31 6 28504778 or
Wilbert van der Zeijden (editor): +31 6 44420765

A PDF version of the report is available on line on the Campagne tegen Wapenhandel website.
A printed copy can be sent to press agencies and journalists on request: