The Malta Independent 25 June 2019, Tuesday

Proposed EU militarisation can provoke new crises - Alfred Sant

Friday, 11 January 2019, 07:54 Last update: about 6 months ago

Labour MEP and Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that the approach to the militarisation of the EU is unwise and likely in future to provoke new crises.

“We are getting the impression that the proposed militarization of the EU is part of a hasty response to overcome any future temptation of the Brexit kind by creating a “defence” anchor for European unity. The argument that the EU should carry a defence component has not been convincingly articulated, nor even contrasted with the option of setting up an autonomous European joint defence structure, argued the Maltese MEP when explaining why he abstained on the Resolution ‘Establishing the European Defence Fund.’


The Maltese MEP said the concept of the European Defence Fund is beginning to sound like a Trojan horse for the militarization of the EU project. This will divert investment funds from “civilian” to defence objectives just as the Union faces a budgetary crunch. A fundamental purpose seems to be that of subsidizing the establishment of a continental military-industrial complex.

True, by promoting continental economies of scale in arms procurement and research, the Fund would also provide new stimuli for arms industries to become more competitive and innovative due to the eventual harmonisation of weapons systems used by national armies. But similar arguments would apply for investment in non-defence sectors – AIl or basic sciences research. The appetite for this has been less than evident.

The resolution was adopted with 337 votes in favour, 178 votes against and 109 abstentions.


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