The European Parliament has called for stricter EU-wide controls on EU arms exports, better end-use control of exported arms, more coordination of national decisions on arms exports, a publicly accessible database on national arms exports and, for arms subsidised through the European Defence Fund, a sanctions mechanism for breaches of the eight EU export criteria. The report “Arms exports: implementation of the Common Position” by Green/EFA MEP Hannah Neumann was adopted by a majority.
Hannah Neumann MEP, rapporteur and Green/EFA group member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, commented: “Arms are not a normal export commodity and arms exports need strict rules, transparency and control. The billions from the European Defence Fund must not lead to even more irresponsible exports of arms, which in the worst case scenario could end up with warlords and fuel conflicts in crisis regions such as the Middle East.”
“We call on the European Commission to enforce strict rules and criteria, control and transparency. Our report states: Where EU money is spent on arms development, we also need a restrictive mechanism for European control of future exports, as is already the case for dual-use goods. Today a majority of the Parliament has backed this green demand.”
The European Union is the world’s second largest arms exporter after the US and ahead of Russia. Between 2015 and 2019, 23 percent of global arms exports came from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The majority of European arms exports go to crisis regions like the Middle East.