We cannot allow the EIB to fund the European arms industry – Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP today (Monday) said that the European Commission should not be providing the EIB with unwanted powers to fund the EU defence industry through a new EU defence fund.
“Right now in Europe, we are seeing a greater push for more military and defence spending to protect Europe from terrorist threats. We do need to address these threats. But we need a common approach that takes into account the views of all Member States, whether they are big or small, whether they are neutral or part of NATO.
“The Commission recently proposed an Action Plan for a European Defence Fund which would give powers to the EIB to finance projects for the European defence industry. This would effectively be giving the EIB powers that it does not want and may conflict with its mandate of ethical lending.
“I believe the government should be firm in rejecting any proposal for the EIB to fund the EU arms industry; I don’t believe this is in the best interest of Ireland and may not respect the wishes of several Member States.
“The EIB’s role is about providing growth and employment to Europe. It would be perverse to allow a lending bank whose focus is on sustainable development to bolster the European arms industry.
“Nowadays we are facing constant calls in the EU to bolster military spending. Today in Parliament there was a vote on a proposal for Member States to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP. Defence is a Member State prerogative; Member States should not be directed on how much funds are allocated to their defence budgets.”