Statement to Prospective Members of the European Parliament


Utrechtseweg 159

3818 ED Amersfoort, Netherlands

A statement to prospective members of the European Parliament from peace tax campaigners of Europe:

In October 1988, peace tax campaigners from 14 countries met for their Second International Conference at Vierhouten in the Netherlands.

We are grateful to our national legislatures that conscientious objection to military service is recognised as a basic human right in Europe.

We are also grateful that the European Parliament has adopted a resolution asking all member countries to give individuals conscientiously opposed to participation in war and preparation for war the legal right of alternatives to military service.

There is a growing awareness that all taxpayers participate in war and preparations for war, because a percentage of their taxes is spent for military purposes. Consequently, taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to such participation must either violate their fundamental beliefs or break the law. For this reason such people are campaigning for legal alternatives.

Within Europe in four countries (United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) proposals for legislation have been submitted. Under these proposals taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to war and preparations for war would pay their full share of taxes. The “military proportion” of these taxes would perform “alternative service” through a trust fund supporting peace-building projects.

In view of the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament we ask you to support:

  • The introduction of a resolution in the European Parliament which will lead to a debate on the rights of people conscientiously opposed to paying taxes for military purposes.
  • The raising of the issue within your national party as well as in the European grouping to which it belongs.
  • Peace tax campaigners and the introduction in your own country of legislation which accommodates their conscientious beliefs.
  • (Reference to conscientious objection grouping in European Parliament)