Sat. Sep 25th, 2021

EN E-002743/2021

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission

(26.7.2021)

The control on the export and transit of arms by EU Member States is subject to national legislation, the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP1 (Common Foreign and Security Policy), and the Arms Trade Treaty2. The obligations stemming from these instruments are legally binding on EU Member States. The final decision whether to authorise or deny an individual export or transit of military technology and equipment is to be adopted, in accordance with the abovementioned legal framework, by the competent authorities of EU Member States. Common Position 2008/944/CFSP lays down eight risk assessment criteria for exports of military technology and equipment by Member States, including respect for human rights and international humanitarian law by the country of final destination.

It is up to the administrations of the Member States to verify that the relevant rules are complied with. The Council publishes an annual report presenting the authorised exports of military goods to all destinations by all Member States, publicly available on the European External Action Service’s website3. The EU attaches high importance to transparency in the arms trade.


https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32008E0944.

2 https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/arms-trade-treaty-2/.

3 https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/eeasqap/sense/app/75fd8e6e-68ac-42dd-a078-f616633118bb/sheet/ccf79d7b- 1f25-4976-bad8-da886dba3654/state/analysis.

Source: Answer to a written question – On arms exports and military training from Spain to Saudi Arabia – E-002743/2021(ASW)