42 European peace, human rights and faith-based groups, including Pax Christi British Section, Pax Christi Flanders, PAX Netherlands and Pax Christi International, have produced a statement addressed to EU Leaders challenging the recently set-up European Defence Fund with its Euro 13 billion budget.
The areas of concern raised include
- The risk of diverting human and financial resources from civilian priorities
- The risk of prioritising arms industry interests and undermining EU transparency rules
- The risk of contributing to the development of ‘killer’ robots and disruptive technologies
- The risk of exacerbating the global arms race, which in turn feeds conflicts.
The Fund is in addition to national defence budgets, which it encourages EU Member States to continue to increase.
The statement ends: In this remembrance period f the First World War, and of the terrible effects of what were disruptive technologies at that time, like chemical gas and tanks, we urge the media and the EU decision makers alike to ask whether the establishment of the European Defence Fund is a good way to achieve peace and security.
The full statement with list of signatories