German trade unions oppose NATO’s higher military expenses

This video says about itself:

19 March 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO … But he also said that he had a great meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump‘s tweet came one day after his first meeting with Merkel.

From 13-17 May 2018, the DGB, the German trade union federation with about 6 million members, had its conference in Berlin.

The conference voted for a proposal of the Cologne-Bonn branch against yet more militarism.

Translation from the German original:

#NO2PERCENT – Peace is different!

The DGB Federal Congress decides:

The DGB Federal Congress rejects the 2% target of the NATO member states. An increase in the armaments budget of about 30 billion € leaves little financial scope for the really urgent investment in education, schools, research and development, for an ecological and social design of mobility, energy transition, digital infrastructure and social security.

We therefore call on the members of the Bundestag [parliament] to oppose this goal in a coalition agreement.

Germany needs more civilian peacekeeping strategies that address the causes of wars and conflicts. These include above all fair world trade, a fairer distribution of global wealth, as well as social and environmental development and climate change projects.

We call on members of the Bundestag to work for greater and better control of arms exports and increased civilian peacekeeping.

The Congress supports the online petition #NO2PERCENT (, initiated by the DGB city association of Cologne.


The exploratory talks [after the 2017 German election, before the present CDU-CSU-SPD coalition was formed] between the [Christian Democrat] Union, the FDP and the Greens raised fears that a CDU-FDP-Greens coalition would mean a gradual increase in military spending.

Top politicians of the Union and the FDP have been vocal in the past several times for the fulfillment of that goal. Whether the Greens would have kept up their critical attitude during the exploratory talks and subsequent negotiations is to be doubted.

There is no financial room for maneuver to implement the 2% target. … The 2 percent target can therefore be realized only to the detriment of other budgetary titles – especially in the field of social security …

The 2 percent target of NATO, vehemently demanded by the Trump administration, will not assure peace, but will lead to a new arms race.

Besides: already today, the defense budget in Germany devours more than 11% of the federal budget. The defense budget is thus the second largest budget title of the federal government.

There is already a lack of money for education, social issues and infrastructure. …

Worldwide, US $ 1,686 billion was spent on military and armaments in 2016 (source: Sipri). For comparison, the global development aid in 2015 was 131.59 billion US dollars (source; Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Conflicts can not be solved by force of arms. What is needed is stronger civilian peacekeeping strategies that address the causes of wars and conflicts.

These include above all fair world trade, a fairer distribution of world wealth as well as social and ecological development and climate protection projects.

We reject strongly strategic arms exports to crisis and conflict areas as well as to dictatorial or autocratic regimes. We can no longer send weapons to states and conflict parties which use war, violence and oppression as a means of politics.

New research finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would save the majority of the world’s plant and animal species from climate change. Species across the globe would benefit — particularly those in Southern Africa, the Amazon, Europe and Australia. Examples of animals to benefit include the critically endangered black rhinoceros. Reducing the risk to insects is important because they are vital for ‘ecosystem services’ such as pollinating crops and being part of the food chain: here.

42 thoughts on “German trade unions oppose NATO’s higher military expenses

    • This resistance against militarism should be an inspiration to all trade unionists and peace loving people in all NATO countries, including in Trump’s USA.


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