Room: H 0105
Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation & UNI Global Union
Arms conversion, i.e. turning manufacturing for the military sector into production of non-military products, was prominently put forward especially by the peace movement in the 80’s. Trade unions picked up the idea and set up working groups on company level, which came up with numerous proposals to put this into practice. However, conversion projects were mainly successful only with regard to land re-allocation, while conversion of arms production could never really be implemented on a larger scale. With rising military spending worldwide the pressure on the military sector to convert and/or diversify production is even less today. When clients are piling up in long queues to purchase the most modern weapon systems, companies seem to be less and less eager to shift to alternative civil production. Can this be used to revive the debate about arms conversion? What is the role of the governments and the parliaments in a conversion process? Would a Europeanization of the military sector also help the implementation of more conversion projects?
Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of the German Parliament
Philip Jennings, UNI Global Union, Switzerland
Miriam Pemberton, Peace Economy Transitions Project at Institute for Policy Studies, USA
Peter Wilke, WMP consult, Germany
Herbert Wulf, Former Director of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), Germany
Moderation: Alexander Geiger, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation
English-German interpretation provided.