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What does security in France look like?
We are interested in human security. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines human security as "security from chronic problems such as hunger, disease or repression. Secondly, it means protection in the face of sudden and painful upheavals in our way of life".

We created this association with the aim of informing, developing a critical eye, and broadening the definition of security by asking questions such as:

  • What makes me safe?
  • What does safety mean to me? To us?
  • Is my 'safety' worth destroying the safety of thousands of people around the world?

Rethinking Security UK is a network of UK-based organisations, academics and activists. Members of the network work for a just and peaceful world, based on approaches that tackle the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity. They describe security as:
1. Security is a form of freedom. Rather than defining security as the absence of risk, it should be understood as a shared freedom from fear and deprivation, and the freedom to live well.
2. Security is a common right. It depends on solidarity between people, rather than dominance over them.
3. Security takes time. There are no quick fixes for insecurity. It takes patience and cooperation to build the conditions in which security can develop; it cannot be forced into being.
4. Security is a shared responsibility. It is democratic by nature, and cannot be left to a small group of powerful states determined to extend their power over others. (https://rethinkingsecurity.org.uk/supporters/faqs/)

Security also encompasses health

"We are at war" Emmanuel Macron (televised address on 16 March 2020: announcement of the first confinement due to the covid-19 epidemic) justifying state intervention for exceptional measures in the management of the covid-19 crisis.

The approach to security is too often limited to the military domain. Our association subscribes to a broader vision of security that takes account of health, economic and social security. Healthcare is an important element of social policy. Social policies provide protection and support to the population to ensure social cohesion and solidarity. They help to guarantee human security (through social security, health insurance or unemployment benefits). Health security, such as protection against pandemics, is part of the notion of human security.
However, military spending is the French government's third largest item of expenditure, after reimbursements and education1, far ahead of the environment and employment. A large part of this budget is devoted to the purchase of new weapons. Arms dealers also benefit from public support for research, notably via European Union funds. The recent creation of the European Defence Fund has considerably increased these funds and subsidies to the tune of €8 billion.

Instead of increasing military spending every year, better management of financial resources must be put in place so that "French public health does not suffocate" (demand of the inter-urgences collective). Austerity policies have impoverished essential public services, weakening the State's role in health safety.

1 According to the Public Finance, State Budget and Public Performance Platform

Speaking of arms...

The French government shows its support for the global arms trade, and especially for French defence manufacturers, in a number of ways, one of the most visible being Eurosatory.

Eurosatory is one of the largest land & air-land arms trade fair in the world. It covers a wide range of military equipment from vehicles (tanks, armoured vehicles, trucks) to small arms (guns, rifles, grenades) through communications systems, uniforms, logistics services, and also simulation, operational medicine and disaster responses, etc. 'Security' sales include monitoring, alert and emergency responses solutions as well as civil security.

Eurosatory's primary business of selling land to air armaments grows every year at the expense of investment and focus on effective, known and innovative peacebuilding solutions for human security.

In 2018, it had 57 056 visitors, 1 802 exhibitors and official delegations of military and governments from around 120 countries, including dictatorships, repressive regimes, countries known to be involved in human rights abuses breaking United Nations directives, and countries currently engaging in or accused of war crimes. That does not make us safer, the opposite is true. Meanwhile funding is diverted away from reducing violence, investing in conflict prevention and other issues which affect individuals in our societies, such as health care, housing and employment. The deals made at the salon make the world less safe for millions of people.

Eurosatory gives an air of respectability and a sanitised public face to a shadow world. It is organised by COGES in partnership with the French Ministry of Armies. We do not know how much financial support it is given. COGES is an affiliation of arms and related product suppliers in France. Arms manufacturers bankroll lobbyists and have a disproportionate influence over governments. In the current climate there is profit in fear, giving a false sense of security and bolstering egos of government leaders.

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France 3rd exporter

France is the third largest arms exporter, behind the USA and Russia.


Exhibitors in 2018


Visitors in 2018

This included delegations from countries in violation of human rights.

Headquarters : Centre Quaker International
114 rue de Vaugirard
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