The EP has just agreed to use 13 billion euros for a new defence fund dedicated to fight for the EU sovereignty.
It took only 2 years for MEPs to agree on this delicate issue that used to be a taboo for Germans and for many from the European left. The European defense fund has been negotiated swiftly and adopted quickly by European Parliament standards – less than 2 years.
But the final last vote at EP on 18 April however revealed die-hard divisions.
Voting for a fund that will obviously spend money to build more weapons is unthinkable for the Greens for example. Most of them voted against it, including Pascal Durand, freshly enrolled in Macron’s Renaissance list for the EP. A not-so-comfortable situation, as Macron is the head of state who has shown the strongest support for European defence.
A raw also emerged between French Socialists about who voted for what and why.
Isabelle Thomas, who was elected as a Socialist in 2014 but joined Benoit Hamon’s Generations party last year called “unforgivable” the vote of her ex-colleagues from the Social and Democrat family in favor of the fund.
The compromise found at the end of the discussions was not ethical enough according to Generations, who accused the EP of rejecting a better control of weapons trade. A scandal for Guillaume Balas, also an ex-Socialist.
“Generations” is wrong, the Socialists protested.”
The European defence fund is progress, it will give 13 billions euros to allow the EU to fight for its sovereignty and avoid selling weapons to dodgy countries, they argued.
They also said that the fund Generations wants does not exist and will never be born as there is no majority for it at the European Parliament.
On ethical issues, they underlined they fought for forbidding “killing robots” : they won’t be part of the financing.
The vote also disclosed the strong opposition of extreme MEPs who voted against the fund: the extreme-left out anti-weapon ideology joined the anti–EU extreme right position in opposing the new project.
Only 3 MEPs from the Greens party vote in favor, including Rebecca Harms.