Working Group on Foreign Affairs and Security
Workshop on "The EU and Arms Exports"
Saturday, 11 May, 18:00-19:30
Venue: Room "Lisboa"
In most EU Member States Greens have repeatedly raised problematic arms exports to Arab Spring countries, the Middle East, but also to Asia, Russia and other countries or regions with a bad record regarding human rights, democracy and good governance.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the EU Member States, taken as a whole, outrank the US and Russia as the world’s largest arms exporter. An ever increasing proportion of European arms exports - 61% in 2011 - is being delivered to countries outside the EU. According to the 14th Annual Report of the Council on European arms exports Member States have authorized exports worth 37,5 Billion EUR. Biggest exporters are France (9,9 Billion), the UK (7 Billion), Germany (5,4 Billion), Italy (5,2 Billion), Spain (2,4 Billion), and Sweden (1,1 billion). 21% of these exports are to the Middle East and 8,9 % to Asia. Most shocking is the fact that Saudi-Arabia is the most important destination receiving 11,2 % (4,2 Billion) of European exports in 2011. Experts say that the figures for the coming year will be even higher for Saudi-Arabia and other Gulf states.
The main reason to put this issue on the agenda of the EGP Working Group is the urgent need to exange information and discuss Green positions in view of the upcoming national elections and especially the 2014 European elections. Greens have a very strong and clear position on arms exports and the recent trend - mainly caused by conservative governments - needs to be reversed.
Chair: Reinhard Bütikofer
- Recent debates about arms exports in Germany and plans to strengthen parliamentary control: Frithjof Schmidt, German Greens, Member of the Bundestag, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
- The situation and export practise/rules in Sweden: Bodil Ceballos, Swedish Green Party, Member of Parliament, Standing Committe on Foreign Affairs
- The global dimension - the Arms Trade Treaty assessed from Green point of view and input on the relevant activities in the EP Subcommittee Security and Defence (SEDE: Tobias Heider (Greens/EFA Adviser on Security and Defence) (canceled due to sickness - sorry for the inconvenience)
After these short presentations: Discussion on developments at national level and on how to connect the national and European level.
- COUNCIL COMMON POSITION 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment
- The 14th Annual Report of the Council on EU Arms Exports
- European External Action Service Webpage on "Arms Export Control"
- Gemeinsame Konferenz Kirche und Entwicklung, Rüstungsexportbericht 2012 der GKKE
- Amnesty International, Arms Transfers to the Middle East and North Africa. Lessons for an effective Arms Trade Treaty
- Jihan Seniora (GRIP), Bilan des exportations européennes d’armements en 2011
- Mark Bromley (SIPRI), The review of the EU common position on arms exports: prospects for strengthened controls