The militarisation of the EU deprives funds for social cohesion
Statement by AKEL Political Bureau member Neoklis Sylikiotis on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework
The absence of an agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework reveals the EU’s deadlocks
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 23 February 2020, Nicosia
The debate and absence of an agreement at the European Council on the Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027) highlights the dead ends and contradictions of the EU’s policies. The neoliberal austerity policies that are being imposed by the ruling elites of the EU lead to increased funds first and foremost for the control of the EU’s external borders and arms war industry.
At the same time, the cuts imposed concern social cohesion and the agricultural policies of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to pave the way for the EU’s common army, the common European Defence Fund and for the development of common weapons systems. Through the abovementioned, the funds allocated for weapons/arms have increased twenty fold.
We remind everyone that the funds from the CAP and cohesion funds are the funds that Cyprus mainly benefits from. Instead of the DISY-Anastasiades government demanding an increase in these funds, it accepts their reduction, anticipating an increase in funding that concerns policing to limit the flows of refugees.
As AKEL we have already expressed our position in the European Parliament. We believe that what is at stake is social cohesion within the EU. What we have declared, together with the Group of the Left, is that instead of subsidizing the arms war industry, what citizens need today are policies to provide support to the socially vulnerable regions and the promotion of cohesion policies.
It is clear that the EU’s new Multiannual Financial Framework is no different in philosophy from the previous one. While social problems and inequalities continue to grow at an increasing rate, the EU’s seven-year Budget continues to focus on competitiveness and anti-social priorities. It continues to increase military spending and suppression on the pretext of addressing the refugee question, at the same time as it cites growth through austerity on the other.
Instead of backing cohesion policies, the DISY-Anastasiades government supports policies that are defending the powerful interests and exacerbating poverty and social and regional inequalities within the European Union.
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