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How big business is running the EU

…and how we can help stop it

On May 22 we get to vote for our new representatives in the European Parliament – but who will really decide what the EU does?

Banner outside a conferences venue saying "Arms dealers here today. This is not okay"

Activists from Vredesactie took action at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency where politicians network with arms industry executives.

Corporate lobbyists have taken over European decision-making. We need our new MEPs to stand up and support politics for people, not politics for corporate profit.

That’s why we’re supporting  a Europe-wide campaign to ask those standing for election for the European Parliament to pledge to curb the power of lobbyists. Please contact your candidates today.

With almost as many lobbyists at work in Europe as there are employees of the European Commission, European policy is being made by corporations to meet their own needs. Weapons manufacturers are some of the biggest beneficiaries. They are using our money to boost their own profits, while making the world a more dangerous place.

  • Militarising Europe: The European Commission recently published new recommendations for strengthening the European ‘defence’ industry, drafted in close cooperation with the arms manufacturers. Unsurprisingly they argued that Europe needs to invest more in military spending and weapons exports.
  • Subsidising weapons: On paper, European research money can only be used for civilian purposes – but in reality millions of euros of public money has been given to European and Israeli arms companies to develop new weapons such as fighter drones. Arms trade lobbyists were instrumental in designing the very programmes that then fund them.
  • Warfare over welfare: When Greece was on the verge of bankruptcy, it was forced to make drastic cuts to public services in return for EU bailout money – but was pressured into spending some of that same bailout money on a billion euros of unnecessary arms purchases​ – to the benefit of German, French and Dutch arms companies.
  • Arming the world: EU countries export vast amounts of weaponry every year. There are rules which are supposed to prevent arms being sold where they will increase the risk of conflict or aid human rights abuses, but in practice European governments support the arms companies, even promoting sales to very repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia.

We need politics for people, not arms companies.

So we’ve united with campaigners from across Europe to ask those standing for election for the European Parliament to curb the power of lobbyists. Hundreds of candidates across Europe have already pledged, but those in the UK are lagging behind.

Please ask your candidates today!

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