Statement from Left MPs upon conclusion of Interparliamentary Conference CSDP/CSFP in Tallinn
Social security instead of military aggression
Left Parliamentarians GUE/NGL MEP Sabine Lösing (Germany), AKEL MP Aristos Damianou (Cyprus), SYRIZA MPs Costas Douzinas (Greece) and Nikolaos Xydakis (Greece), PODEMOS MP Pablo Bustinduy (Spain), attended the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), taking place in Tallinn on 7-9 September.
The general aim of this Inter-Parliamentary Conference is to scrutinise EU Foreign Affairs and Defence Policy with national and European Parliamentarians from all political groups and all Member States.
Sabine Lösing, MEP (DIE LINKE, GERMANY) and GUE/NGL coordinator of AFET and SEDE committee comments:
“The militarisation of the EU reached a never seen speed. As the Federica Mogheriniput it: ‘more has been achieved in the last ten months than in the last ten years’. This development is frightening and extremely worrying. We finally need to break out from the current logic of more military security towards social security. In the end, this would also mean to change towards a pure civil and peaceful foreign affairs policy.”
Aristos Damianou, MP (AKEL, CYPRUS) adds:
“The EU should play a more active role in conflict resolution to improve its credibility. European action should focus on burning issues, such as migration and poverty, especially since migration is not solely a Justice and Home Affairs matter but a challenge which clearly falls in the realm of foreign and social policy. Our efforts should aim at adopting policies which would directly affect in a positive way the lives of citizens in affected zones, through fostering development, peace and prosperity, while highly respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states in line with international law and principles on which the EU is founded.”
Costas Douzinas, MP (SYRIZA, GREECE) and Chair of Permanent Committee of National Defence and Foreign Affairs, comments:
“The EU faces multiple existential crises: economic, political, social, the problem with the refugee flows and BREXIT. The future of Europe is at stake. The lack of leadership and a credible roadmap for exiting the crisis was evident at the inter-parliamentary conference. The increased activity in the area of defence and security is an attempt to give the impression of a united front and ‘business as usual’ when all indications are the ‘ever closer union’ idea is finished. The EU needs new policies for social, economic and labour rights, for growth and jobs and not more expenditure for ‘battle groups’ and armaments. The lack of a proper discussion on social Europe and the refugee crisis, with their defense and security implications, in Tallinn and the cold war statements that dominated many interventions from ‘New Europe’ show that we need new initiatives in order to save social Europe and the European project as a whole. The responsibility of the Left and social democracy is to take back Europe from neoliberals and hawks.”
Pablo Bustinduy, MP (PODEMOS, SPAIN), concludes:
"We keep increasing military expenditure, flooding regions in conflict with weapons, trading arms with countries that are responsible for blatant violations of human rights. This spiral of arms races and the dialectics of confrontation is part of a systematic preparation for war and is contrary to the interests and desires of the social majorities in our countries. We will keep saying no to war as a tool of foreign policy and denouncing the efforts to turn the EU into a war machine"
The left MPs call for the abolishment of the EU’s CFSP/CSDP focus on ever more military ‘solutions’ and to stop the increase of the EU defence budget. The left MPs reject the EU Global Strategy as well as the Security and Defence Union, which is a dangerous way straight to war. They do not think that the security of the people of Europe can be really improved in this militaristic way, but the economic security of the armaments industry.
The alternative is peace, the respect for the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, the disarmament, the demobilisation of troops and the nuclear disarmament, the end of external military interventions, civil research and investigation in service of the people and their development, the dissolution of NATO, the support of measures on poverty eradication, humanitarian aid, sustainable and fair economic and social development.