Peace activists protest against arms industry influence on EU policy making

Today, peace activists are treating passers-by at different locations in Brussels with some street theater. Arms industry lobbyists on stilts are pulling the strings of their puppets, members of European Parliament. As such they protest against the influence of the arms industry on EU policy making.

Lene Jacobs, one of the activists: “The arms industry influences European policy through a network of lobbyists. We make this visible with this action”.

A campaign team accompanies the party. But in stead of promoting one or another candidate for European Parliament, passers-by are invited to support the campaign “Ctrl+Alt+EU”. Lene: “A counterweight for the influence of the arms industry is urgently needed”.

Last week, Friends of the Earth Europe, Vredesactie and Campagne tegen Wapenhandel launched www.score-ep.org. On this website MEPs are scored on Climate, Fracking, GMOs, arms trade and militarisation. Their voting record on arms trade and militarisation was sobering. A majority of MEPs voted for more subsidies for the arms industry and the development of military drones. Also the use of civil budgets for military applications received majority support. Increasingly, more arms trade is seen as good for the economy; a motion for resolution for more strict and uniform control on arms trade did not receive enough support to be adopted. [1]

Tom Cox, campaigner from Vredesactie: “With the approval of European Parliament, an increasing part of EU policy is getting a military edge. This stands in stark contrast with the original objectives of the European peace project. The arms industry has an increasing grip on EU policy, and European Parliament has failed to provide a counter-weight to this.”

This report is part of the campaign “Ctrl+Alt+EU: no military Europe” from Vredesactie and Agir pour la Paix. Together with Campagne tegen Wapenhandel, a detailed analysis of the voting record of Flemish and Dutch MEPs was also made [2].Vredesactie supports the campaign “Politics for People” from the international alliance Alter-EU in which MEP-candidates are called to pledge to stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business [3].

[1] A detailed analysis on how and why we scored MEPs can be found here: http://www.vredesactie.be/en/nieuws/how-did-european-parliament-vote-arms-trade-and-militarisation

[2] The detailed report of the Flemish MEPs can be found here:

http://www.vredesactie.be/nl/nieuws/wapenhandel-en-militarisering-slecht-rapport-voor-de-vlaamse-europarlementsleden

The report of the Dutch MEPs can be found here:

http://www.stopwapenhandel.org/rapportMEP

[3] www.politicsforpeople.eu

More pictures of the action here

Watch the videos here and here