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European Union (EU)

Peace activists protest at EU workshop for arms dealers

Activists spill red paint outside the doors of the European Defence AgencyActivists spill red paint outside the doors of the European Defence Agency

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.

Das Geschäft mit militarisierten Grenzen in der Europäischen Union

Theodore Baird1

Eine Anzahl von Wissenschaftlern, Journalisten und Aktivisten sind der Auffassung, dass wir möglicherweise Zeugen der Entwicklung eines „Sicherheits-industriellen Komplexes“ in Europa sind, der dem früheren „Militärisch-industriellen Komplex“ des Kalten Krieges ähnelt. Der Sicherheits-industrielle Komplex an den Grenzen meint die Beziehungen zwischen Militär, Sicherheitsdiensten und privater Industrie innerhalb eines globalen Marktes für die Planung und Einrichtung von Grenzsicherheitstechnologien. Die Hauptakteure sind Regierungen, Lieferanten von Sicherheitstechnologien und Sicherheitskräfte, die die Nutzung neuer Technologien für die Kontrolle und Verwaltung von Staatsgrenzen fordern. Die Arten industrieller Akteure, die Sicherheitstechnologie für Grenzen liefern, reicht von allgemeinen und spezialisierten Lieferanten für Ausrüstung (hauptsächlich kleine und mittlere Unternehmen) bis zu größeren Systemintegratoren (transnationale Verteidigungsfirmen wie Thales, Finmeccanica, Sagem, Airbus, Indra Sistemas, BAE Systems unter anderen). Die größeren Gesellschaften haben Erfahrung als Verteidigungsfirmen, die an der Entwicklung militärischer Fähigkeiten und solcher im Weltraum arbeiten. Kunden sind hauptsächlich Regierungen (und ihre angeschlossenen Sicherheitsapparate), da die Industrie abhängig ist von Wirtschaftsgrößen (von kleineren, örtlichen Wirtschaftseinheiten von Polizei oder Gendarmerie bis hin zu größeren, regionalen Wirtschaftseinheiten wie der Europäischen Union). Viele Gesellschaften verwenden Militärtechnologie entsprechend für den Gebrauch bei Grenzkontrollen und Überwachng, selbst wenn die Wirkung solcher „doppelt verwendeter“ Technologien auf die zivile mobile Bevölkerung unbekannt ist.

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.

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