European Parliament demands new sanctions mechanism for future arms export violations

by Brooks Tigner

In a new resolution, the European Parliament is demanding stricter controls on arms exports from the EU, better harmonisation of arms export data from national capitals, and faster convergence of export licensing notifications as set out in the EU’s 2008 arms control regime. “Member States use very different information in order to generate data on the value of licenses, [which complicates] the ability to use consistent and comparative data effectively,” it notes.

The European Parliament voted in favour of stricter controls on EU arms exports on 17 September. (Getty Images)

The European Parliament voted in favour of stricter controls on EU arms exports on 17 September. (Getty Images)

In an unprecedented move, the own-initiative report also argues for the creation of a sanctions mechanism for violations of the regime on future EU-subsidised weaponry.

“Where EU money is involved in arms development, we also need an enforceable mechanism for EU control of any future exports,” declared Hannah Neumann, German Green Member of the European Parliament and author of the report, which was adopted on 17 September during the parliament’s plenary session.

“The billions [of euros] from the European Defence Fund [EDF] 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,” she said in a statement following the report’s adoption. The EDF will receive just over EUR7 billion (USD8.3 billion) from the EU’s 2020–21 budget to support defence capability prototyping and research projects.

Neumann’s report, ‘Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP’, passed by 341 votes in favour and 124 against, with 230 abstentions.

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In a new resolution, the European Parliament is demanding stricter controls on arms exports from the...

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