Every year the EU military and security industry exports arms worth billions of euros to conflict-ridden regions like the Middle East and North Africa, fuelling the violence, repression and human rights violations that force people to flee. Then the same industry gains profit again by providing the border security and control equipment to stop these refugees at the external borders of Europe.
The EU border security policies don’t come out of the blue. The arms industry has been influential in shaping them through an intensive and successful lobby. Now, the focus shift more and more to strengthening and militarising border security in non-EU-countries, especially in Africa, to stop refugees long before they reach the borders of Europe.
Mark Akkerman, researcher at Stop Wapenhandel [www.stopwapenhandel.org] and involved in the campaign ‘Stop the War on Migrants’ [stopthewaronmigrants.noblogs.org], will tell about the militarisation of the European borders and beyond, and the role the arms industry plays in this. In cooperation with local group ‘Enschede voor Vrede’ [http