Send Commission President Ursula von der Leyen a postcard to tell her we need to enforce our strict EU rules to prevent weapons ending up in the wrong hands.
Arms are not like any other export goods. Their export needs to be regulated carefully. Currently, export decisions for arms produced in the EU are made at national level. Member states are expected to follow the so-called Common Position which establishes eight criteria for exporting arms outside the EU, and aims to prevent arms exports to crisis regions or exports that contribute to the violation of human rights.
However, the criteria are currently interpreted differently by each EU member state. This leads to loopholes in the system. National export decisions and practices often vary greatly, and are sometimes even contradictory. An obvious example is arms exports to Saudi Arabia, where several EU member states - including Germany - imposed a ban, whilst others - like France - continued to export arms.
The EU has begun massively subsidising the research and development of military technology between EU countries, with the recent launch of the European Defence Fund. This will mean more collaboration in arms production between European countries and more expansive arms exports policies. If we want to make sure that EU countries respect our common criteria and ensure that European-made weapons aren’t being sent to crisis regions, we must demand a stronger role for the EU to enforce our strict current export rules.
We can’t leave these life-and-death decisions entirely in the hands of national governments. The stakes are too high. To prevent EU-produced weapons ending up in the hands of warmongers, we’re calling for a new approach: the EU should risk assess each and every EU arms export licence before it’s granted. We want the EU to control arms exports rules. It should be watching to make sure our national governments aren’t fuelling conflict. It should be feeding into every arms export decision taken by our national governments.
Help us bring this call to the attention of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen! Write her a postcard to ask her to push for stronger enforcement of the strict EU rules we already have and prevent weapons ending up in the hands of warmongers!
We will make sure to print the postcards for you and will hand them over to President Von der Leyen.
Hannah Neumann (🇩🇪) and Alviina Alametsä (🇫🇮)
Greens/EFA Members of the European Parliament