Militarization of the EU—Judith

  • Paradigm shift towards a military union
  • They portray themselves as the guarantee for security and freedom but the reality is different
  • Need to develop concrete criticism of the legal base (which is militaristic, undemocratic, and mainly neoliberal)
  • The EU in big crisis—Brexit, mass grave of mediteranean sea, more and more brings division
  • Paradox: Left people have hope in the EU and as an alternative to nationalist, racist tendencies, but we should question it
  • We are of course pro-European integration
  • The EU however is not entity we should try to save, however
  • 2012: EU got the Nobel Peace Prize—we don’t have war, longest stability of peace; but this is in deep contrast to the role of the EU as an increasing superpower and part of the imperial block
  • Die Linke against the 2009 Lisbon treaty—a constitution that defines EU as a military power; Article 42 encourages progress in military capability and armament of Europe; “Member states are committed to progressively improve their military capabilities
  • Military theory of superpower: A power which expands in the neighborhood region; a power that has autonomous military means—this is the case with the EU
  • Since 2016 increase in militarization:
    • The so-called “Global Strategy”—Basic doc of the EU, whose main aim is to become a military superpower
    • Brexit: Referendum increases the discourse on militarization
    • Election of Trump
  • In this whole process, we see a strong relation between Germany and France in this militarization process—German and French defense ministers interested in increasing military power; Macron is promoting the military industrial complex
  • Current EU projects that underline the reality of militarization: So-called “Permanent Structured Corporation” PESCO—23 or 24 EU countries decided to have stronger links and cooperation on military and defense issues; Junke: PESCO is the sleeping beauty of the Lisbon treaty”—increased NATO spending is encouraged
  • European Defense Industrial Development Program—big subsidy for military and arms research
  • In the Lisbon Treaty, military spending out of European households is forbidden; 2021-2027 want to increase subsidies for the arms industry, but we should be spending it on
  • EU Member-states focused on 17 different projects (e.g. The Military Schengin Action Plan—need to invest in streets, bridges, technical infrastructure so that troops can move more quickly to borders of Russia; from Germany, 6.5 billion euros)
  • Next month, NATO summit in Brussels; Die Linke is mobilizing to support the peace movement
  • Report: EU and Nato are indespensible for securing Europe; we welcome the enhanced forward presence in NATO’s eastern flank (Poland, Lithuania, etc.); reiterate the important role of women in NATO and EU missions
  • Linke: Every war is against human and women’s rights; this third quote is paradoxical
  • The militarization of borders is problematic, and this question should become one of the big pillars of the European left and Die Linke
  • Alternative proposals to just being against war, weapons, etc.? —we need to provide answers in dealing with military conflicts in a progressive way; Also, wouldn’t a compulsory rather than a professional army be better?
    • How would the EU and NATO have such a military organization that includes Russia?
    • But what about nuclear proliferation, weapons proliferation in ‘3rd World’
    • Countries and the military overrides concerns of e.g. famine in Venezuela
    • One opinion: Russia needs to be a part of the solution—not be an enemy
    • Die Linke: goal should be demilitarization of Europe; it would be very difficult to get rid of Article 42; so, we need some sort of understanding which includes Russia and would lead towards collective demilitarization
    • Strong military polarization will only lead to war (i.e. between NATO and Russia); need to end this polarization and weaken these military structures; they will use each other as an excuse to expand as much as possible
    • We should be against militarization, against NATO-Russia conflict, but we should be focusing on the anti-war movement on the ground
    • Die Linke: want to get rid of NATO and to work in cooperation with Russia via dialogues and debates
    • People believe that the rise of EU military reduces the national militaries; but the way the EU militarization is occurring, the national level will continue to militarize
    • If we support a weapon-free world, we also need to focus on demilitarized development aid and other peace projects; war is a distraction from progress
    • Important to remember that this militarization is geopolitical project focused on extract resources from non-Western regions
    • What about the question of the U.S.? —has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world
    • We need to ask who is in the military—no one in the Left in the army, but the right wing has the German military is a stronghold
    • The Greens support militarization because of international threats (Russia and China have upped their militarization, need to respond)
    • Regarding development aid, there is a big fight for 0.7% of spending to go to this
    • Economic reasoning: worldwide expansion of military industrial complex; big European companies and industries supporting Turkey military complex, for example
    • Die Linke: we should not underestimate the role of Germany as the big player in arms conversion (such as the unemployed at weapons factories)
  • First quarter of next year: Die Linke discussion on militarization of the EU

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