Peace and security


My point of view regarding EU arms exports to Ukraine

Time and again, European weapons end up in crisis areas and are used for war crimes and human rights violations – despite the regulations at EU level, which are supposed to prevent this. That’s why I’ve been fighting for a European level arms export control for a long time and I am critical when it comes to arms exports.

The EU now has again provided 500 million euros for the export of arms to Ukraine, financed by the European Peace Facility. This happened against the backdrop of broad parliamentary approval (both at national and European level) for arms exports to the country – also from my group.

I also support these exports. Because, as I said in an interview with rbb (Berlin/Brandenburg public radio station): This war is a war of aggression by Putin’s Russia. By starting it, Putin has provoked a military response – we did not have a choice. Ukraine, on the other hand, has a right to self-defence.

The peace facility is not financed with money from the EU budget, but is a special fund financed by EU states. The facility is therefore not subject to EU arms export rules. In this case, the instrument can be seen as a financing and coordination mechanism based on solidarity, which means that not all member states negotiate individually with Ukraine, but rather jointly as the EU.

We still criticize other arms exports by the facility, though! In an interview with Deutschlandfunk (German public radio channel) I talked about how the European Parliament could get more control rights for the Peace Facility and how we can make the facility more transparent.

One thing is clear: with his war, Putin has made Europe stand together like never before. The Frankfurter Rundschau (German newspaper) asked me in an interview for my opinion on the possibility of a common European army. I do not see such an army being established in the near future. However, we should first take the steps that will bring us forward in concrete terms. For example, we need to jointly procure arms at European level. Additionally, energy independence and above all the expansion of renewable energies must become part of our new security policy.

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