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European Defence Fund boost for the defence industry with no Parliamentary scrutiny

Quote from Reinhard Bütikofer MEP

MEPs have just adopted a €13 billion boost for the defence industry. The new fund will provide arms companies with fresh money from the EU budget as of 2021. The majority of MEPs voted to waiver their parliamentary scrutiny over the design of the programme.

The Greens/EFA succeeded in ensuring that no money will be invested in killer robots in the future. On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament voted as early as 12 September 2018 for a ban on autonomous weapons systems.

Reinhard Bütikofer, defence spokesperson and shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA group, comments:

"The European Defence Fund provides the defence industry with an economic stimulus package worth billions. Yet, the Fund hardly helps the Common European Security and Defence Policy because it leaves military duplications and overcapacities unaddressed. It is scandalous that the European Parliament has refused to supervise this expenditure of more than 13 billion euros over seven years.

"We firmly reject the fact that arms subsidies may even be invested in the development of weapons of mass destruction. The Fund as a whole will boost the export of arms to authoritarian regimes, because there will be no export controls at EU level.

"The only glimmer of hope is that no EU money will be allowed to flow into the development of killer robots. We will continue to fight for killer robots to be banned worldwide and call on the United Nations to push for a global ban on such weapons."


Resolution of the European Parliament on autonomous weapons systems, 12 September 2018


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Reinhard Bütikofer
Reinhard Bütikofer

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