More than 1,000 scientists, researchers and academics from 25 European countries have joined the Researchers for Peace campaign. They oppose the creation of a European Defense Fund, which could be endowed with 13 billion euros between 2021 and 2027. The European Parliament will vote on this today. Precisely 1,035 researchers have signed the appeal to the EU that it gives up financing military research, the campaign website, announced.
“Investing European funds in military research will not only divert resources from more peaceful areas, but also risks fueling the arms race, thus jeopardizing security in Europe and the world,” signatories said.
The organizations behind the initiative include the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) and the Belgian Vredesactie association. They also published an open letter to European MPs. They recall that a significant part of European arms is exported and ends up inevitably in areas of tension or war. Furthermore, the planned ethics review process is “far from transparent and credible”, with each member state retaining control over export licenses and divergent practices, they warned.
Moreover, the provisional agreement on the European defence fund submitted to the European parliament creates a “dangerous precedent for the EU’s democratic functioning” because this process excludes parliament from the implementation of programmes, the NGOs believe.
Just a few days ago, the new French media Disclose revealed a French military intelligence note that confirms Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates use French weapons in Yemen.
A recent Amnesty International survey also denounced weapons being supplied by several Western countries, including Belgium, and ending up in the hands of militia involved in the same Yemenite conflict.