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The EU has no place as global policeman - Pearse Doherty

19 May, 2004

Sinn Féin EU candidate for the North West constituency Pearse Doherty has insisted that "the EU has no place as a global policeman - what we need to is resource and reform the UN to enable it to properly enforce international law".

Speaking today in reaction to the EU Defence Ministers' agreement that the 25 EU member states should increase EU military capacity to enable the EU Rapid Reaction Force to deploy Battle Groups throughout the world by 2010,

Mr Doherty said:

"EU Defence Ministers including Irish Minister for Defence Michael Smith has committed to a new Headline Goal for 2010 which would require the member states to contribute finance and personnel to rapid deployment Battle Groups to enable the EU to act as a global policeman. The EU has no place as a global policeman and the Minister for Defence had no business committing Ireland to back any such plan. What we really need is to resource and reform the UN to enable it to properly enforce international law. This should be the international, the EU, and the Irish priority for international security.

"This Government and the EU are both allegedly committed to UN primacy. If genuine, such a commitment would dictate an increase in EU resources to UN reform and capacity building to compensate for decades of financial strangulation by the states who have refused to pay their arrears in UN membership dues. The persistent diversion of EU resources to build up the EU as some kind of military superpower has done nothing for UN capacity or primacy - if anything it has undermined it.

"The EU needs to straighten out its global priorities. Instead of spending 161 billion euro on military capacity every year, it should collectively commit the estimated 100 billion euro it would take to halve global poverty by 2015." ENDS

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