Just getting in touch to quickly distribute two documents of interest on the state of play regarding European militarisation.
The first is an EPRS briefing document, produced by the European Parliament's dedicated research department, which exists to inform MEPs and staff. It was requested by the Parliament's budget committee, and outlines the different military spending programmes and the facts and figures around them.
The second is a very good recent newsletter from the European Network Against the Arms Trade, an important watchdog NGO in Brussels, which monitors and campaigns against defence spending and corporate capture of the EU institutions by the defence industry.
Between the two of them, you'll get a good idea of past, present and proposed future programmes for military spending, and the state of play at the moment in Brussels. Needless to say, all of this has implications for Irish foreign policy, and is underreported at home.
By all means share these with anyone you think would be interested, and if anyone would like to be added to the mailing list let us know.
All the best,
Clare Daly and Mick Wallace
Just a quick update on the last email I sent around.
This morning the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg appeared in the European Parliament at a joint hearing of the Foreign Affairs committee and the Security and Defence committee. MEPs were able to ask questions, including myself and Mick Wallace. You can watch the whole hearing here.
I'm attaching the most recent ENAAT newsletter – an update on the previous one I sent. If you find the ENAAT bulletins useful, you might want to send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to add your name to the mailing list.
I'm also attaching another EPRS document, this time the 2023 "Peace and Security Outlook." This is part of a major effort to brand EU geopolitical confrontation and militarisation as a part of the EU's "peace project." The report attempts to redefine peace so that "acting for peace" can include spending on arms purchases for delivery into an active warzone. It contains a remarkable quote from Ursula von der Leyen about the pursuit of "peace through power." The document provides a good insight into how these issues are discussed in politics in Brussels.
TNI, Stop Wapenhandel and Statewatch
I'm also attaching two reports from last year from the Transnational Institute, Stop Wapenhandel and Statewatch, which go over everything on EU security and defence projects – including the militarisation of EU borders, migration policy and police and security forces.
Week of Global Mobilization for Peace in Ukraine
IPB is calling on civil society organisations to join an international week of mobilisation for peace between Saturday 30th of September and Sunday 8th of October. They've asked us to reach out to activists and organisations in Ireland who may be interested in participating by organising an event, action or demonstration. Participating organisations can sign up on the IPB website: https://www.ipb.org/home/ipbs-work-ukrainian-war/
Regarding the impact of the war on EU finances and wider society: 5 documents from the European Parliament Research Service (also available online) published to feed into discussions around the revision of the EU budget. As I've said before, the EPRS is the research service for the Parliament. These documents are not critical of EU policy – they aim to be informative for MEPs, so they should of course be read with a critical eye.
As context, EU support for Ukraine (financial, humanitarian, military), as well rising interest rates, inflation and energy prices as a result of the war, are putting the EU's long-term budget under severe pressure. The Commission has proposed a revision of the current long-term budget, and the creation of new sources of revenue (the EU's own resources) to provide additional finances. The discussion in Brussels is now whether these proposals will be adequate to finance the EU's activities in the next few years, or whether there will need to be additional proposals to prevent the EU running out of money.