Today (13-April-2015), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute have published figures for military expenditure in 2014 – for more than 170 countries. EU governments are spending a total of 255 Billion euro on the military. Peace groups from across Europe have released a joint statement condemning European military spending as grossly excessive and as contributing to insecurity for many people around the world.
The statement supports the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS), coordinated by Nobel Peace Prize winners, the International Peace Bureau. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of military spending and alternatives. The groups also called on EU Member States and institutions to reduce military spending and increase funding for peacebuilding. Alternative mechanisms for dealing with violent conflict include civil peace services who engage directly in conflicts, and peace education that equips people with nonviolent communication and critical thinking skills, to help resist far-right nationalism and conflict. The groups also criticise those who seek to promote ‘new Cold War’ and ‘global Jihadism’ narratives, often for their own purposes.
Click here to read the European GDAMS statement.
Click here to see this supporting statement released by Pax Christi Vlaanderen.