Left MEPs have hit out against today's endorsement by a European Parliament Committee of proposals for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The EDIDP advocates further EU militarization and increased investments in military research and equipment contrary to Article 41 (2) TEU, which prohibits any expenditure arising from operations having military or defence implications from being charged to the Union budget. Public money will thus be spent on rewarding the arms industry and weapons manufacturers instead of being put to use to support quality jobs, reindustrialization, and SMEs. Today’s vote by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) was met with a minority opinion (see below) in which GUE/NGL MEPs outline their opposition to the move.

“Unfortunately the majority of the political groups at the ITRE committee voted in favour of the further militarization of the EU. We are firmly against any attempt to subsidise the defence sector and the Military Industrial Complex and we demand public funds to support people’s needs,” GUE/NGL MEP shadow rapporteur and committee coordinator Neoklis Sylikiotis said after the vote.

“This proposal will have catastrophic consequences for the peoples. Our alternative proposal is to invest in peace and promote disarmament, the demobilisation of troops, the end of military interventions and the dissolution of NATO. At the same time, we underline the importance of public investment and the use of EU funds to enhance a comprehensive industrial strategy by accelerating the creation of new quality jobs for the benefit of society. We frame security and defence in terms of peace and social development,” the Cypriot MEP explained.

The GUE/NGL group will raise the issue at Parliament’s next plenary session and will fight to oppose a mandate for trialogue negotiations with the European Council and Commission.

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