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Defund European Defence

In the last decades, countries have used citizens’ growing concerns over increasing threats to personal safety to amplify security policies based on endless militarisation, greater surveillance, tighter border controls, higher power for the police and intelligence services. The increasing militarisation is based on the hypothetical belief that an increased military capacity acts as a deterrent from conflicts.

This is reflected in the numbers on military spending, SIPRI (the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) has released on Monday. Last year, in full COVID pandemic, the world spent almost 2 trillion (!) dollars on the military. This is an increase of 2.6 percent, in a year where the global GDP shrank by 4.4 percent. 

Across Europe as well, military spending increased by 4.6% in 2020. The EU27 spent €204.2 billion on the military, the 3rd highest in the world. As if these numbers alone are not outrageous enough, the Members of the European Parliament are voting today on the final proposal for a European Defense Fund that will only increase military funding. 

Although the EU has limited competences in military issues, the liberalisation of the internal market, neoliberal politics, and old-school security policy have all supported the growth of the European Defence Industry and arms trade. 

The arms industry has successfully lobbied to increase their access to several subsidy programmes, such as regional and research funds. And now, these subsidies will be officialized through the creation of the European Defence Fund. Meaning another 8 billion euros for the research and development of new military technology or yet a threat to the peace project the European Union was meant to be. 

That is why today we, the Federation of Young European Greens, are calling the Members of the European Parliament to vote against this final proposal, to defund the European Defense Fund, and allocate resources to actual human security, such as for example healthcare facilities and the climate emergency.

 

It is time for the European Union to put people over profit, to invest in healthcare not warfare.