European Union common position on arms export
The EU common position on arms export divines that all EU Member States should impose a licence system for the export of military goods and equipment. The common position contains eight ethical criteria for the evaluation of an arms export license application. These criteria include the human rights situation in the country of destination as well as its involvement in armed conflict and its economic situation.
The common position however leaves a lot of space for political interpretation. In practise, governments apply them at random, depending on their economical, political and strategical interests. The European Network Against Arms Trade wants a strict and responsible interpretation of the EU common position on arms exports.
Read here the full text of EU Common Position.
EU annual reports on arms export
As a transparency and confidence building measure, each EU Member State is supposed to contribute to the EU annual report on arms exports, handing in data on granted arms export licenses and arms transfers. According to a European Network Against Arms Trade analyses, these overviews are often too late and incomplete, raising many questions about the reliability of the data provided and on EU commitment to make arms export control effective. The EU annual reports on arms export are however one of the few official sources for analysing the European arms trade. An overview of the EU annual reports on arms export can be found on the – very chaotic - website of the European Union on Security-related export controls II - Military equipment
Member States which export equipment on the EU Common Military List are also to publish a national report on its defence exports. These reports – as far as available – can also be found at the same website.