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26 June 2003 Edition

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People don't want EU arms race

The coalition government's support for the establishment of a European armaments agency is a total disgrace.

Instead of doing what is really needed, and that is reforming and strengthening the United Nations, EU leaders at the European Council meeting in Greece took another major step in the militarisation of the EU as they attempt to create a political and military power bloc, in a futile effort to balance with the US.

The Draft EU Constitution proposes to establish a European Armaments Agency, the basis for a European military industrial complex. This is totally contrary to the republican belief that multilateral disarmament - and multilateral nuclear disarmament in particular - should be a central goal of both Ireland and the EU.

The Dublin government should have no part in this, but the Taoiseach and his fellow EU leaders agreed to establish in 2004 an intergovernmental agency "in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments". Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin was hardly understating people's anger at this move when he said in Leinster House on Wednesday that the government's part in this agreement is a total disgrace and absolutely unacceptable.

This is not a people's process. The demand for an EU Constitution and the transformation of the EU from a partnership of states to a single state does not come from the peoples of Europe. It is driven by a political and bureaucratic elite.

Republicans are opposed to the development of the European Union into a state - therefore we do not accept the argument that the EU must have a Constitution, including a President and a Foreign Minister.

The Draft Constitution gives the EU a single legal personality for the first time, makes fundamental changes in the structures of the EU and gives those structures more powers. The effect is to shift the balance of power yet further from sovereign national parliaments and towards the EU, to take the single biggest step so far in the creation of an EU superstate.

The proposed Constitution has huge implications for Ireland. The Dublin government has already taken the people for granted in the context of the Nice Treaty. We will not allow them to do so on the issue of this proposed Constitution.

An Phoblacht Magazine


  • Don't miss your chance to get the second edition of the 2019 magazine, published to coincide with Easter Week
  • This special edition which focuses on Irish Unity, features articles by Pearse Doherty, Dr Thomas Paul and Martina Anderson.
  • Pearse sets out the argument for an United Ireland Economy whilst Pat Sheehan makes the case for a universally free all-island health service.
  • Other articles include, ‘Ceist teanga in Éirinn Aontaithe’, ‘Getting to a new Ireland’ and ‘Ireland 1918-22: The people’s revolution’.

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