Berlin, 8 June 2021. “Europe can do more!” This is what the four leading German peace research institute call for in their current Peace Report, which they are presenting today at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin. The European Union must increase its ability to act within the global power structure to respond to global challenges by providing non-military solutions.
Within the European Union, this means resolutely tackling nationalist tendencies, the dismantling of democracy and mismanagement. In foreign policy, measures must be taken, for example, in the conflicts in Donbas and Nagorno-Karabakh, to increase the willingness of the actors involved to compromise without sacrificing fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. In its relations with the Global South, the European Union will also have to determine new priorities: It can contribute to a fair distribution of vaccines, mitigate the socio-economic costs of the pandemic and readjust poverty- and food policies. This requires a radical rethink of military spending: The Peace Report proposes to reduce spending on arms and the military, thus freeing up urgently needed funds for the global fight against the pandemic. As tax revenues are falling due to the pandemic and national budgets are shrinking, the world needs this coronavirus peace dividend.
The European Union (EU) faces enormous challenges: In the rivalry between the USA and China, it must determine its position. The conflicts in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus need creative, pragmatic solutions. Global solidarity is needed to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. And the global erosion of democracy must be confronted. All of this requires that the EU target its “strategic autonomy” on peace policy. Last but not least, reducing military spending and curbing violence could generate a Corona peace dividend to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and renew the global economy in a socio-ecological way. Europe can do better – but it must also want to do better.
The Peace Report is available for download free of charge (in German): www.friedensgutachten.de
About the Peace Report
The Peace Report is the joint yearbook of the German Institutes of Peace and Conflict Research (BICC / PRIF / IFSH / INEF). It has been published annually since 1987. Researchers from various disciplines investigate the realities of conflicts in various countries around the world. Their analyses are the basis for the Editors’ Statement, which summarizes and assesses the results and formulates policy recommendations for peace and security policy in Germany and Europe.
Please find more information at friedensgutachten.de