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Militarism is not the solution to people's security and prosperity

12.10.2018

Left Parliamentarians call for a break out from the current logic of military security towards an EU of social security. GUE/NGL MEP Sabine Lösing (Germany), AKEL MP Aristos Damianou (Cyprus), DIE LINKE MP Tobias Pflüger (Germany), SYRIZA MPs Costas Douzinas and Nikolaos Toskas (Greece) attended the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign And Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy, taking place in Vienna on 11-12 October 2018. The aim of this Inter-Parliamentary Conference is to scrutinise EU Foreign Affairs and Defence Policy with national and European parliamentarians from all political groups and Member States and to draw conclusions.  

Sabine Lösing, MEP GUE/NGL and Tobias Pflüger, MP DIE LINKE comment:

"The EU uses all available means, from trade to military, to aggressively assert its geopolitical influence and economic interests. With such a policy tensions and conflicts are only further fuelled. It focuses on isolation, militarisation and a political and military core Europe - away from consensus and conflict prevention. We think with multilateral cooperation, peaceful and diplomatic conflict resolution, with solidary and fair economic relations, with a policy that focuses on reconciling interests instead of aggressively asserting interests, international conflicts would be defused. For this to happen, the EU must reflect and re-think on its own role and refrain from its own escalating action."

"This also includes the use of EU funds for foreign policy. It is an absolute breaking of taboos that the post-2020 MFF should now have the new budget heading 'Security and Defence'. Not only does the use of EU money for military and armament violate Article 41(2), but it also fuels the development of the EU into a military union. It is precisely because of such programmes like EDIDP or its successor the European Defence Fund as well as the establishment of PESCO and Co. that the EU is moving further and further away from what it supposedly stands for: peace, democracy, human rights and diplomatic conflict resolution."

"PESCO turns the EU into a de facto defence union, and is already overturning the Council's consensus rule. Further, the PESCO Council Decision contains the obligation to 'regularly increase real defence budgets'. With the now proposed European Security Council and qualified majority decisions in the Council basic democratic principles will be completely lost and a core Europe, a Europe of elites, will decide on war and peace. That is what we deeply reject. We recall that the setting-up of the new heading V on 'Security and Defence', the EU defence research programme (EDIDP), the European Defence Fund and Military Mobility clearly violate the provisions laid down in Article 41(2)TEU, which states that any expenditure arising from actions having military or defence implications must not be charged to the Union budget. We denounce and deeply deplore the unprecedented speed with which the EU is being militarised and insists that the EU and its Member States should work for peace and focus on diplomatic and peaceful conflict resolution."

Aristos Damianou, MP AKEL comments:

"This trend of increasing military expenditure cannot go on. The EU's global role should not be based on a CFSP/CSDP focused on more military capabilities or 'solutions'. The EU has another role to play in order to improve its credibility: a more active and leading role in conflict resolution. But to do so we need a fundamental redirection of EU policies. What is needed is more democracy, respect for international law and good neighbourly relations. Furthermore, we need an EU that serves the interests of the people of Europe instead of those of the multinational capital, including those of the military industry."

SYRIZA MPs Costas Douzinas and Nikolaos Toskas criticise:

"The fact that yet again the conference will not have a proper political debate on the many issues put on the agenda and will not vote on a set of conclusions. These conferences are gradually becoming a discussion amongst technocrats, who offer a skewered approach to the questions of European Foreign Affairs and Defence. It was characteristic that at the Vienna conference the issue of refugees and migrants was discussed exclusively as a question of control of external borders, of increase in power and resources of FRONTEX and not as a political issue with major repercussions for the future of the Union. A more rounded approach is necessary, which sees the migration issue as one of fair burden sharing and of offering migrants and refugees a dignified life. European states should resettle refugees proportionately to their population and GDP as the European Commission and the ECJ have decided. The attitude of some Member countries towards refugees has contributed to the rise of extreme right wing xenophobia and racism and threatens the future of the Union."

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