Europe

This month, activists from different European countries met in London as part of a WRI training on countering youth militarisation and its gendered dimensions. During the training, activists took part in various activities exploring how military values are promoted to young people, in which ways this militarisation is gendered, and how we can plan effective strategies countering these forces. Following the training, WRI also hosted a public forum on countering youth militarisation, joined by activists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK.

In advance of International Human Rights Day on 10th December, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection has published “Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Europe 2017”. “In 2017, efforts to recognize the rights of conscientious objectors to military service have taken once more a negative track in Europe”, EBCO President Friedhelm Schneider said.

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) held its 2017 General Assembly on 4th November in the UN buffer zone in Cyprus. The Assembly followed a press conference and a public forum held with the participation of conscientious objectors and peace activists from across Europe, as well as from the Republic of Cyprus and the northern part of the island.

Nick Buxton

For anyone concerned with militarism, news of the terrorist attacks in Brussels brought a familiar sense of dread. We ache as we hear the stories of more innocent lives lost, and we feel foreboding from the knowledge that the bombings will predictably fuel new cycles of violence and horror in targeted communities at home or abroad. It creates the binary world that neocons and terrorists seek: an era of permanent war in which all our attention and resources are absorbed – and the real crises of poverty, inequality, unemployment, social alienation and climate crisis ignored.

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection's annual report gives an overview of conscientious objection in Europe this year. Read it here.

Foreword by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President

In September 2014 Heiner Bielefeldt, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, speaking at a side event to the Human Rights Council, observed: “Conscientious objection to military service is a specific issue, but not a side issue!”. One year on, in October 2015, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, for the first time launches its Annual Report “Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2015” in Geneva, immediately before the Session of the UN Human Rights Committee which will deal with the reports of Greece and the Republic of Korea - two states in which the right of conscientious objection to military service continues flagrantly to be violated.

Theodore Baird1

A number of scholars, journalists, and activists have argued that we may be witnessing the development of a ‘security-industrial complex’ in Europe which resembles the earlier ‘military-industrial complex’ of the Cold War. The border security-industrial complex refers to the relations between military, security, and private industry within a global market for the design and implementation of border security technologies. The main actors are governments, suppliers of security technologies, and security forces demanding use of new technologies for controlling and managing state borders.

Stephanie Demblon

“Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy” - this is Frontexit’s campaign slogan regarding the respect of migrants’ human rights at the borders of the European Union. Usually addressed from a humanitarian angle (guilty of negligence to basic migrant rights) or a political one (the question of migratory flux management and distribution), the subject is rarely connected to the European arms market. And yet…

OXI

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Paolo Novak

I write this as the results from the Greek referendum on the bailout programme proposed by the Troika (EU, IMF and European Central Bank) make headlines in newspapers and bulletins (July 2015). The resounding NO (oxi) to austerity that the referendum results returned may seem somewhat detached from the concerns of this TBR issue –and yet they are not, in a number of ways.

Daniel R. Mekonnen1

 

1. Introduction

The European Union (EU) has one of the most dangerous borders in its southern tip, across the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In recent years, this maritime border, particularly the Italian Peninsula, has become a mass grave of migrants by reason of tragic boat accidents that took place time and again, often times in distances so close to coastal towns that they could have provided timely interventions of rescue. This issue has caused a great deal of embarrassment on the part of some European institutions, as it is happening partly due to lack of an effective intervention strategy on the part of the EU. This points out that legal security and the provisions that safeguard human rights are in stark contrast to the militarised security of the borders.

Eurodrones, Inc.

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How far reaching is the EU's financing and support for the emerging drone industry? With what  intended purpose? And what will be the consequences of European citizens?

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