Ahead of today's latest European Council meeting, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer has called on EU heads of state and government to halt expansion of the EU's military capacities.

“EU leaders are gathering in Brussels, but rather than talking about the real solutions Europe needs, they will be talking about investing yet more money in armaments, much to the delight of arms lobbyists,” commented Zimmer. “But citizens don't need armaments; they need better social protection and better access to social services and decent work through investment in infrastructure and education.

“This summit is a wasted opportunity: whereas it could have been used to put forward a vision of the EU that strives for disarmament the world over, it is instead being used to discuss bolstering the EU's military presence in order to enforce economic interests. This doesn't seem to me like an agenda fit for an EU that is supposedly serious about peace.”

Gabi Zimmer also commented on the European Council's latest economic policy coordination plans: “We are categorically opposed to the setting up of so-called 'contractual arrangements' between member states and the Commission and Council. These 'voluntary' memoranda will only pit the poor and unemployed in the different member states against each other. We simply cannot stand for legally binding partnership agreements that offer financial support in return for cuts to social protection schemes, the public sector, or education.

“Yet again member states in financial difficulties are forced to take the austerity medicine so they can continue to pay back illegitimate public debt. It is in the bondholders and creditors' interests to maintain this neoliberal status quo, not to mention the many consultancies making millions from Troika contracts to manage these bailout programmes. However, this type of EU is not serving the interests of the citizens suffering across Europe.”

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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