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 Full text 
Procedure : 2017/2029(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0264/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 12/09/2017 - 12
CRE 12/09/2017 - 12

Votes :

PV 13/09/2017 - 9.14

Texts adopted :


Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

12. Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group . – Mr President, we should remember that our defence industries are vital elements of our national security, as well as our national economic well-being. We should not underestimate their importance. Five European countries are among the world’s top ten arms exporters. Like our armed forces, the arms industries of European countries are well regulated and responsibly controlled. We have export control regimes, primarily to ensure that, as far as possible, weapons and key components do not get into the wrong hands, and by that I mean our potential enemies, rogue states and terrorists.

We don’t want to impose more regulation on our own national industries merely to advance the cause of EU political integration, and I should mention that my own country, the United Kingdom, already has a robust and comprehensive arms export control system irrespective, by the way, of EU activity.

While there is much in the Valero report we can agree with, we also take issue on a number of points. Most of these concern the constant effort to enhance the role of the EU over its Member States. I very much hope the Parliament will reject any suggestion of sanctions against a Member State not complying with a common position, and similarly, we don’t see the necessity, in these times of budgetary pressure, for the establishment of EU funds to be used for capacity-building among licensing and enforcement officials in Member States.

I am pleased that, following the acceptance of our amendment, there is at least mention of the UN’s International Arms Trade Treaty, but this is under-played – and thank you, by the way, Mr Maasikas, for your emphasis on this. We have to ask why there is a necessity for increased EU activity in this area when it is the wider international community that needs to be taking action. In fact, very little mention is made of the countries that have been the worst abusers in the International Arms Trade System, feeding violent insurgency and terrorism in all continents of the world. I think of Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, China: this is where we should focus our attention. None of these countries are signatories to the UN Arms Trade Treaty, while all EU Member States are.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

Last updated: 14 December 2017Legal notice