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C 137 E/224 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


Joint answer
to Written Questions E-3536/02 and E-3537/02
given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(27 January 2003)

The members of the Advisory Group on Aerospace which presented its findings (STAR 21 report) to the
President of the Commission on 16 July 2002, contributed in a personal capacity. Accordingly, the report
represents the collective views of the Advisory Group’s members. The Commission has, nevertheless,
welcomed the report as a key contribution to identifying the framework needed to ensure the
competitiveness of Europe’s aerospace industry. The Commission is currently considering its position on
the STAR 21 report and will present its views in a communication in the course of the coming year. In the
meantime, the Commission welcomes and encourages comments on the Report from all interested parties.

Referring to specific issues raised by the Honourable Member, as regards the distinction between civil and
military equipment the Commission notes that the Advisory Group, in highlighting a number of key
characteristics of the aerospace industry, draws attention to the complementary nature of civil and defence
products, noting that they share many of the same skills and technologies, yet meet the needs of two very
different markets, both economically important.

As far as the defence sector itself is concerned, the Advisory Group’s recommendations are made against
the background of the efforts required to meet objectives already identified at Union level, for example in
the conclusions of the 1999 Helsinki European Council setting a common European Headline Goal. The
other recommendations in this area focus on the need to optimise expenditure and create an internal
market in defence equipment while stressing that the overall level of ambition must necessarily be
determined at the highest political level.

The production and trade of armaments are subject to government authorisation. The possible flow of
weapons into areas of conflict is already covered by the Union code of conduct on arms exports adopted
by the Council in June 1998. The STAR 21 report makes no recommendations on this aspect.

(2003/C 137 E/253) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3538/02

by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(11 December 2002)

Subject: Trade in military material

Will the Commission give the figures for exports and imports of military material (including aerospace) for
each Member State and for the EU for the last ten years, and state these figures as a percentage of the total
value of exports and imports in each case?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(28 January 2003)

The figures for imports and exports of military material, which the Commission has at its disposal and can
make available, represent only a small proportion of actual trade in the products in question. This is
because of the confidentiality at the highest level (confidential data for all users) which the Member States
attach to most of these products.

Regarding exports of conventional arms from the Member States, information is given in the Annual
Reports according to the operative provisions of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports for the years
1999-2002 (breakdown by country in terms of number/value of licences and value of exports, where
available; data do not correspond to uniform standards).