European Union (EU)

ENAAT campaign against EU subsidies for the arms industry

In the draft EU 2017 Budget presented on June 30th, the European Commission proposed to start funding the military research industry with EU public money through a Preparatory action on Defence research (PA) of 90 million EURO for 3 years (2017-2019). This proposal crossed the traditional red line that EU budget should only finance civil activities and purposes.

European activists lobby European Parliament for arms Saudi arms embargo

The European Parliament has voted in support of an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. The European Network Against the Arms Trade (ENAAT) were part of efforts to lobby Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to impose the European-wide arms embargo. The lobbying action included groups from Germany, UK, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

European parliament votes for arms embargo against Saudi Arabia

A destroyed house in Yemen. Photo: wikipediaA destroyed house in Yemen. Photo: wikipedia

The European Parliament has voted in support of an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. The European Network Against the Arms Trade (ENAAT) were part of efforts to lobby Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to impose the European-wide arms embargo. The lobbying action included groups from Germany, UK, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Groups from across Europe tweeted and emailed MEP's using the #StopArmingSaudiArabia hashtag, and the vote was passed on the 25th February, despite being heavily opposed by diplomats from Saudi Arabia, who met with and wrote to MEPs before the vote.

New report: Conscientious Objection to military service in Europe 2015

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection's annual report gives an overview of conscientious objection in Europe this year. Read it here.

Foreword by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President

In September 2014 Heiner Bielefeldt, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, speaking at a side event to the Human Rights Council, observed: “Conscientious objection to military service is a specific issue, but not a side issue!”. One year on, in October 2015, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, for the first time launches its Annual Report “Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2015” in Geneva, immediately before the Session of the UN Human Rights Committee which will deal with the reports of Greece and the Republic of Korea - two states in which the right of conscientious objection to military service continues flagrantly to be violated.

The Business of Militarized Borders in the European Union

Theodore Baird1

A number of scholars, journalists, and activists have argued that we may be witnessing the development of a ‘security-industrial complex’ in Europe which resembles the earlier ‘military-industrial complex’ of the Cold War. The border security-industrial complex refers to the relations between military, security, and private industry within a global market for the design and implementation of border security technologies. The main actors are governments, suppliers of security technologies, and security forces demanding use of new technologies for controlling and managing state borders.

Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy

Stephanie Demblon

“Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy” - this is Frontexit’s campaign slogan regarding the respect of migrants’ human rights at the borders of the European Union. Usually addressed from a humanitarian angle (guilty of negligence to basic migrant rights) or a political one (the question of migratory flux management and distribution), the subject is rarely connected to the European arms market. And yet…

Arming the European Union?

By Wendela de Vries

“Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.”

Last year, the powerful DG Trade and Enterprise of the European Commission published a study on the European arms industry. The 'strategy for a stronger and more competitive European defence industry' stresses the need for a strong European arms industry, not only to provide security but first and foremost because the Commission considers the arms industry a great technological innovator and employment generator. According to the Commission, military research should be stimulated with EU money, and export regulation (“unnecessary red tape”) should be kept to a minimum. There was even the proposal to use the Commission as 'launching costumer' for new military products. When reading this Communication one can only conclude that the lobby of the European defence industry – by organisations like AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe - has been very effective.

WRI signs ENAAT statement: European Union must end its military support for Israel

http://www.enaat.org/news/IsraelGaza.shtml

As the conflict in the Gaza Strip continues to escalate, and the body count continues to increase, the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) has called for an immediate end to all European military support for Israel and for the EU to declare a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties in conflict. Pending such an embargo, all EU states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and ammunitions to the parties in conflict.

EU, Business as usual?

On 19th and 20th December, European leaders met in Brussels. During the summit, the fortification of the European arms industry was explicitly on the agenda. While it preaches austerity across the board, the EU is poised to increase military expenditure. The goal: to safeguard the 'global competitiveness' of the European arms industry.

Campaign of the Month: Ctrl+Alt+EU

European president Herman Van Rompuy has put military Europe high on the political agenda. Only three months after receiving the Nobel peace prize, he concluded a speech at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency (EDA) as follows: “Europe was born out of the ashes of a war. And built, at first, by pooling (and sharing!) the instruments of war: coal and steel […]. The European Union stands by those in pursuit of peace and human dignity. To fulfil such responsibilities, we should make sure we have the means at our disposal.”

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