Killer robot
Picture credit Pavel Korr - Istock

Press release


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Deal on EU fund a worrying gift to defence industry, but bans funding for killer robots

European Defence Fund


Early this morning, an agreement was reached in trilogue negotiations on the European Defence Fund. The seven year, €13 billion fund will allow for spending on weapons of mass destruction, white phosphorus or depleted uranium ammunition without any Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Greens/EFA group was successfully included one imitative in the final text, which ensures that funding from the European Defence Fund will not be allocated to autonomous weapons systems, or 'killer robots'.

Reinhard Bütikofer, Greens/EFA spokesperson on defence comments:

"A right-wing majority in the European Parliament has reached a provisional agreement with the Council that the European Defence Fund should distribute billions of euros to the defence industry without any parliamentary involvement. Numerous parliamentary positions, which had found a majority in the Industry Committee, were sacrificed in the process.

"The result is a scandal, the provisional agreement even allows new nukes and other weapons of mass destruction to be financed through the Defence Fund. Arms exports will increase massively as a result of this arrangement. There are no regulations to prevent the arms industry from continuing wasteful spending through duplication and lack of cooperation. Council and EPP even argued, however unsuccessfully, that lobbying events should be allowed to be paid for directly from the fund.

"During last night's negotiations the Greens/EFA group managed to exclude any of the Defence Fund's €13 billion from being spent on 'killer robots', which builds on previous Greens/EFA success in legislating against the prospect of such inhumane and dangerous weapons."