As a life-long peace campaigner, Molly has denounced MEPs who by a significant majority today backed a plan for a €500m EU fund to develop Europe’s military industry. MEPs rejected amendments put forward by Greens which included banning inhumane and internationally banned weapons like fully autonomous weapons, incendiary weapons and cluster munitions. An attempt to reintroduce an amendment to bar ‘killer robot’ projects also failed to get majority backing.
Speaking in a debate in the European Parliament ahead of the vote, Molly condemned the proposal which will divert half a billion euros ‘that could be invested in useful and peaceful development’ towards the development of new weaponry. She told MEPs:
“Despite Parliament’s resolution that this should be fresh money, 60% of it will come from existing civilian programmes. This agenda is being driven by our continent’s powerful arms companies, who have more than doubled their lobbying budget in the last five years. And it seems to have worked. The EU Defence Fund is set to put nearly €40 billion in these companies’ pockets over the next 10 years. That’s over 30 times larger than the EU’s budget for human rights.
“As Greens we are committed to a European Union that was founded on peace and continues to support peaceful livelihood through its aid budget. But we fail to see the absurd inconsistency of spending public money to repair the damage caused by the weapons which we are funding through other budgets like the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.”