The EU should tighten up its export control policy on military technology and equipment, MEPs said on Thursday. Member states must apply and interpret more uniformly the EU's 2008 common rules setting out criteria and checks for arms export licences because of the impact that arms exports have on development, they add.
In the resolution, Parliament says member states must ensure greater transparency of their arms exports and provide full information on their arms transfers to the Council every year. They want the guidance on the common rules to be worded more clearly to make it less open to different interpretations and also say the existing criteria should be better applied before new ones are suggested.
MEPs say the European Parliament and national parliaments must have a greater role in ensuring effective oversight of the application and enforcement of the EU rules and welcome the conclusion of the legally binding UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on international trade in conventional arms.
The EU member states together make up the world's second-largest arms exporter, just behind the United States.
The EU's 2008 Common Position is a legally binding framework laying down eight criteria for granting arms export licences. The first four must be met in any event and under criteria 5 to 8 consideration must at least be given to refusing a licence. National governments have the final say on whether or not to issue arms export licences.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution