Stricter rules on EU arms exports endorsed by Parliament
As public outrage over the sale of EU weapons to the Middle East continues, a vote that would impose stricter control over member states’ arms sales to authoritarian regimes and war zones has been overwhelmingly approved in the European Parliament today*.
The Parliament’s annual Arms Exports report – written by GUE/NGL’s Sabine Lösing this year – sets out eight criteria that would control the flow of weaponry to countries like Saudi Arabia and its allies, as well as punish EU member states that disregard rules.
The onus is now on the European Commission to implement the guidelines that member states will be compelled to follow.
Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Lösing (DIE LINKE., Germany) said:
“I am very glad that our report has been adopted. It is a strong signal for stricter EU arms export control.”
“This year’s report goes beyond previous ones. We managed to include an extension of the eight criteria to include military and police personnel. It demands – even though we vehemently reject the newly-established EU armament programmes – that the EDIDP (EU Defence Industrial Development Programme) and EDF (European Defence Fund) be subjected to this control regime,” she added.
“Finally, for the first time, we could incorporate the demand that calls for a conversion process from military to civilian goods.”
“We need to put to an end both the EU’s military madness as well as the unscrupulous and lucrative business of death by European weapons,” she concluded.
* The report was approved 427 in favour, 150 against and 97 abstentions