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Parliamentary question - P-003630/2023(ASW)Parliamentary question


In its conclusions of 26 October 2023[1], the European Council condemned Hamas in the strongest possible terms for its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks against Israel, and deeply deplored all loss of civilian life.

The European Council emphasised Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law and reiterated the importance of ensuring the protection of all civilians at all times in line with international humanitarian law.

The control on the export of arms by Member States is subject to national legislation, Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP[2] and the Arms Trade Treaty[3] (ATT).

The competent authorities of the Member States take the final decision whether to authorise or deny an individual export or transit license of military equipment, in accordance with the said legal frameworks.

Member States are solely responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable laws, including the Common Position and the ATT. The Council is not in a position to assess specific export cases against the criteria laid down in the Common Position and the ATT, nor is it mandated, under EU law, to enforce the Common Position.

The Council, through its competent Working Party, works towards increased convergence amongst Member States’ arms export policies.

This includes exchanges of views on the application of the criteria set out in the Common Position, and also in recent months on the impact of the conflict in Gaza on the arms exports policies of the Member States.

Last updated: 6 March 2024
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