This report seeks to analyse the current polices and practices of the 15 EU Member States andthe 10 new Member States with regard to their control of the transfer of military, security andpolice (MSP) technology, weaponry, personnel and training. The report demonstrates whyAmnesty International is convinced that more effective EU mechanisms to control MSPexports are urgently required to help protect human rights and ensure respect for internationalhumanitarian law.The major European Union (EU) arms exporting countries - France, Germany, Italy, Swedenand the United Kingdom - accounted for one third of the worldwide arms transfer agreementssigned between 1994 and 2001.
The EU’s share of the market was smaller than the UnitedStates and Russia, but it increased on 1 May 2004 when ten new countries joined the EU.Some of these new Member States have significant arms production and exporting activities.For example, the enlarged EU will have over 400 companies in 23 countries producing smallarms & light weapons (SALW) - only slightly less than the USA.
Such a dramaticenlargement of the EU presents both potential opportunities and dangers for European armscontrol.The establishment in 1998 of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports represented asignificant advance in terms of regional arms export control. In the Preamble to the Code the15 Member States declared themselves:
DETERMINED to set high common standards which should be regarded as the
for the management of, and restraint in, conventional arms transfers by allEU Member States, and to strengthen the exchange of relevant information with aview to achieving greater transparency,DETERMINED to
the export of equipment which might be used for internalrepression or international aggression, or contribute to regional instability; [emphasisadded]As well as providing the minimum standards for EU Member States’ export control policyand practice, the EU Code has also been adopted by many states outside the EU region andhas informed the development of a number of regional and international agreements such asthe OSCE Small Arms Document
, and the Wassenaar Arrangement
Best Practice Guidelines
Such arms transfer figures are often biased by different accounting systems and also obscured bynational secrecy but are useful for comparative purposes. See ‘Conventional Arms Transfers toDeveloping Nations, 1994-2001’ report by the Congressional Research Service, August 2002.http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/12632.pdf.
Source Omega Foundation database. Compiled September 2003. (numbers of companies in brackets):Existing EU countries: Austria (19), Belgium (17), Denmark (3), Finland (10), France (34), Germany(37), Greece (10), Italy (60), Netherlands (5), Portugal (4), Spain (30), Sweden (11), United Kingdom(90). New EU Members: Cyprus (2), Czech Republic (26), Estonia(1), Hungary (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (2), Poland (22), Slovakia (11), Slovenia (6)
EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports, 8 June 1998; //www.smallarmssurvey.org/source_documents/Regional%20fora/European%20Union/EUCodeofConduct.pdf. EU Member States must also respect other relevant international obligations such as UN armsembargoes and agreements within the OSCE
OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons, November 2000,www.osce.org/documents/sg/2000/11/673_en.pdf
The Wassenaar Arrangement is the group of leading conventional arms exporting countries, including