Attempts to militarise EU’s development policy stride forward

Four MEPs, Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA), Paavo Väyrynen (ALDE), Lola Sanchez-Caldentey (GUE/NGL) and Ignazio Corrao (Five Stars) call for taking a clear stance against a dangerous development of militarising EU’s development cooperation. The European Parliament’s Development Committee voted today in favour of an opinion on amending the regulation establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (IcSP).

The aim is to finance capacity building of military actors of partner countries through the general budget of the Union, including with development cooperation funds. This is the first actual step towards aspirations of militarising EU’s development policy, which has been strongly pushed forward by some Member States and the Commission.

The four MEPs demanded that a clear line has to be drawn between development cooperation and security policy. Unambiguous development criteria (OECD DAC criteria) must be set on the activities pursued with the EU’s development policy tools. This demand was rejected by the S&D and EPP groups.

MEP Heidi Hautala, a Green member of the Development Committee, comments:

“We, members of four political groups, continue to defend the principles of development policy with poverty alleviation at its core. It is not about being against capacity building for military actors abroad, but this should be done within the appropriate legal framework and with a strong emphasis on good governance, accountability, civilian and parliamentary oversight of armed forces, anti-corruption mechanisms and in depth training in human rights and respect of international law. Then the EU can become a force of good, and help others to get out of vicious circles of violence and counter-violence.”

Result of final vote was 13 in favour, 8 against and 1 abstention.

The foreign affair committee AFET will vote on a report on the 11 July.

Heidi’s op-ed on the issue, published in EurActiv >