Militarisation of Europe
The great post-war dream of a Europe united in peace is growing increasingly distant as hawks seek to twist the union into a militarised global superpower to rival the US and China. This section examines how the development of our very own home-grown military-industrial complex is already warping EU foreign policy.
- In recent years there has been an unprecedented drive towards a stronger military Europe. Increased military and arms industry co-operation within the European Union, which has been a goal for many years, is now becoming a disturbing reality.
- The origins of European military co-operation go as far back as 1948, when the Treaty of Brussels established the Western European Union (WEU).
- The powerful influence of arms industry lobbyists on EU decision-making processes is nothing new. However the recent restructuring on an industry level, together with important political developments such as the European Defence Agency and Treaty of Lisbon, has moved the influence of the military industry to new levels.
- On 12th July 2004, the EU Foreign Ministers formally authorised the creation of the European Defence Agency (EDA), a process that had been initiated a little more than a year before by the European Council.
- The lack of any civilian input into the Common Security and Defence Policy sections of the Treaty of Lisbon is overshadowed by the democratic vacuum created by the repackaging of the Constitution into a Treaty.
- The Treaty, signed in December 2007, and due to be put to national parliaments this year (2008), is a rehash of the draft EU Constitution in all but name. It is a cynical attempt to re-introduce the new direction and role of the EU outlined in the Constitution, which was scuppered due to negative votes in referenda in France and the Netherlands.