1492

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Review of dual-use export controls

20-07-2021

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly defines cyber-surveillance technology as dual-use technology and introduces human rights violations as an explicit justification for export control. It also includes provisions to control emerging technologies. The proposed regulation introduces greater transparency into dual-use export control by increasing the level of detail Member States will have to provide on exports, licences, licence denials and prohibitions. On 17 January 2018, based on the INTA committee's report on the legislative proposal, the European Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations. For its part, the Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 5 June 2019, and on the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency began negotiations with the European Parliament's delegation on 21 October 2019. Trilogue negotiations ended on 9 November 2020, with agreement on a final compromise text. Endorsed by the INTA committee on 30 November, the Parliament formally voted on the text in plenary on 25 March 2021. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 11 June 2021 and enters into force on 8 September 2021. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items

22-03-2021

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; known as 'dual-use' goods, they are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposal would place new limits on the export of cyber-surveillance items and strengthen human rights considerations ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; known as 'dual-use' goods, they are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposal would place new limits on the export of cyber-surveillance items and strengthen human rights considerations. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the agreed text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations during the March II plenary session.

Workshop on Dual Use Export Controls

06-10-2015

Although EU Regulation 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items system is in line with the main export control regimes and is seen as a model for others to follow, there are a number of ways in which the regulation could be enhanced and refined. Part One outlines the current state of play, purpose and implementation of the current regulation. In Part Two, against the backdrop of the European Commission's reform proposal ...

Although EU Regulation 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items system is in line with the main export control regimes and is seen as a model for others to follow, there are a number of ways in which the regulation could be enhanced and refined. Part One outlines the current state of play, purpose and implementation of the current regulation. In Part Two, against the backdrop of the European Commission's reform proposal, the effectiveness of the EU's dual-use export controls regime is explored further with regard to its potential contribution to international, national and human security, as well as their impact on EU economic and trade interests. The study concludes that the system’s effectiveness could be improved in a number of ways, but that this requires an effort to mobilise political will at different levels and across different institutions within the EU and its Member States, and to enhance human resources, cooperation and capacity-building. The European Parliament should also give consideration on a regular basis to issues relating to the scope and implementation of the regulation, in order to ensure that the objectives continue to be achieved.

Control of trade in dual-use items

14-09-2016

The system of export controls requires its Member States to comply with general international obligations to counter the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and other items with potential military use. The same obligation is also applicable to ‘dual-use items’, i.e. items which can be used for civil and military purposes. The existing export control system of dual-use items requires an export authorisation if a dual-use item is exported from the EU to a non-EU country. Without ...

The system of export controls requires its Member States to comply with general international obligations to counter the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and other items with potential military use. The same obligation is also applicable to ‘dual-use items’, i.e. items which can be used for civil and military purposes. The existing export control system of dual-use items requires an export authorisation if a dual-use item is exported from the EU to a non-EU country. Without an export authorisation, the dual-use items cannot leave EU customs territory. The list of dual-use items requiring this authorisation is included in Annex I of Regulation 428/2009. The regulation also establishes several rules and principles for export, transport, transfer of, and brokering of these items. Although the regulation is binding in its entirety, it gives several broad competences and discretion to the Member States, for example, with regard to sanctions or different types of authorisation. These competences, on the one hand, allow the Member States to implement the regulation in a way that reflects their legal traditions. On the other hand, however, these might influence the process of harmonisation of dual-use export controls negatively, and as a result, limit their effectiveness. In addition, the most recent technological developments such as 3-D printers, geopolitical changes in the world, a growth of international terrorism and connected security concerns, and a greater concern for human rights, may require an update of the existing European legislation. On several occasions, the European Parliament has called on the Commission to update the existing legislation to react to these challenges. Similarly, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee noted the need to update the existing legislation. Finally, the European Commission itself expressed a willingness to come forward with a new legislative proposal that will update the existing system of export controls of dual-use items. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Plenary round-up – March II 2021

26-03-2021

The highlight of the March II 2021 plenary session was the joint debate on the preparation of the European Council and Digital Green Certificates. A number of further joint debates were held on 2019 2020 enlargement progress reports on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, on the reform of EU own resources, on a capital markets recovery package: adjustments to the securitisation framework and on a European strategy for data. These debates were followed by votes. Other debates held following ...

The highlight of the March II 2021 plenary session was the joint debate on the preparation of the European Council and Digital Green Certificates. A number of further joint debates were held on 2019 2020 enlargement progress reports on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, on the reform of EU own resources, on a capital markets recovery package: adjustments to the securitisation framework and on a European strategy for data. These debates were followed by votes. Other debates held following Council and Commission statements concerned Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta. Proposals on guidelines for the 2022 EU budget, implementation of the Ambient Air Quality Directives, for a new EU-Africa strategy, and legislation on exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use goods, were also debated and voted.

Control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items

25-01-2017

The IA is well structured, clear and compact. Overall, it appears to provide well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposal. The problem definition is illustrated by facts and figures which give a clear view of international security threats. The outcome of the stakeholder consultation is clearly presented and has been integrated into the analysis and the assessment of the different options, with a transparent presentation of stakeholders' views throughout. Nevertheless ...

The IA is well structured, clear and compact. Overall, it appears to provide well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposal. The problem definition is illustrated by facts and figures which give a clear view of international security threats. The outcome of the stakeholder consultation is clearly presented and has been integrated into the analysis and the assessment of the different options, with a transparent presentation of stakeholders' views throughout. Nevertheless, the IA has a number of shortcomings. A clearer explanation of the links between the problems and their drivers, the objectives of the legislative proposal and the options considered, would have strengthened the IA. The report would have been more persuasive had it been clearer about the methodological approach to the comparison of the options. Even if the Commission made efforts to collect relevant data in preparation of the IA, the analysis remains essentially qualitative. Finally, the IA remains vague about the overall impact of the proposal on SMEs and competitiveness.

Recommendations for a transparent and detailed reporting system on arms exports within the EU and to third countries

08-05-2020

The EU’s annual report on arms export control presently lags behind the national reports of many countries. The introduction of a searchable online database will be a substantial step in increasing the user-friendliness of the report. This paper makes recommendations with regard to readability, comprehensiveness and comparability. Perhaps the principal recommendation is that steps be taken to harmonise the data provided under the categories ‘licensed value’ and ‘actual exports’, which are presently ...

The EU’s annual report on arms export control presently lags behind the national reports of many countries. The introduction of a searchable online database will be a substantial step in increasing the user-friendliness of the report. This paper makes recommendations with regard to readability, comprehensiveness and comparability. Perhaps the principal recommendation is that steps be taken to harmonise the data provided under the categories ‘licensed value’ and ‘actual exports’, which are presently not consistently interpreted across the EU. The main argument of this paper is that the EU should move towards using data visualisation to complement the lengthy statistical tables in the annual report and thus make it more readable. The EU and its Member States should also explore opportunities to enhance the data contained in the report to include additional identified data fields, narrative sections to complement the statistical data, and disaggregated data on licence denials. In identifying additional data fields that could be included, the paper also examines the challenges associated with the provision of the data in each case.

External author

Dr Ian J. STEWART, Dr Benedict WILKINSON, Prof. Christoph O. MEYER, King's College, London, UK

Health impact of 5G

22-07-2021

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report ...

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report aim to take stock of our present understanding of health effects of 5G.

External author

This study has been written by Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, BSC, PhD, International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology Fellow (IATPF), Ramazzini Institute, Bologna (Italy), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. The scoping review search was performed by Dr Daria Sgargi, PhD, Master in Biostatistics, and Dr Andrea Vornoli, PhD in Cancer Research, Ramazzini Institute, Bologna.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, January 2018

19-01-2018

The January session highlights were the European Council conclusions debate and a presentation of Bulgarian Presidency priorities, as well as the first in a series of debates with EU leaders on the future of Europe, with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar. Parliament voted, inter alia, on three clean energy package proposals; a review of dual-use items export controls; its opinion on the revised Brussels IIa Regulation; and gave its consent for the conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty.

The January session highlights were the European Council conclusions debate and a presentation of Bulgarian Presidency priorities, as well as the first in a series of debates with EU leaders on the future of Europe, with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar. Parliament voted, inter alia, on three clean energy package proposals; a review of dual-use items export controls; its opinion on the revised Brussels IIa Regulation; and gave its consent for the conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Dual quality of products – State of play

25-11-2019

In recent years, the concern that some branded products might be inferior in the Member States that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004 has become ever more apparent. This concern has come to be known as the 'dual quality of products'. To address the issue, between 2018 and 2019, the European Commission's Joint Research Service (JRC) compared a set of branded food products sold under the same name and in the same or similar packaging across Member States – the first time a harmonised testing ...

In recent years, the concern that some branded products might be inferior in the Member States that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004 has become ever more apparent. This concern has come to be known as the 'dual quality of products'. To address the issue, between 2018 and 2019, the European Commission's Joint Research Service (JRC) compared a set of branded food products sold under the same name and in the same or similar packaging across Member States – the first time a harmonised testing methodology has been used to compare products from the whole of the European Union. The analysis sought to determine whether, despite the identical or similar packaging, there were differences in product composition and, if so, whether those differences corresponded to any geographical pattern. Results showed that about one third of the branded food products analysed had a composition that differed from one Member State to another. However, the results did not point to any geographical pattern that might explain those differences. In 2017, the Commission had already sought to clarify the relevant legislation with a notice introducing a test that national consumer protection authorities could use to determine on a case by case basis whether the dual quality of food products was misleading. Later, in April 2018, in the framework of the 'new deal for consumers', its proposal for a new directive on modernisation of EU consumer protection rules sought to include the dual quality of products (not just of food products) in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. The European Parliament has long voiced its concerns about the dual quality of products and had called for it to be added to the 'blacklist' of practices that should always be considered as banned. However, the text of the new directive on modernisation of consumer protection rules as adopted by the co-legislators did not include dual quality as a practice that must be considered unfair in all cases, but rather as one that must be proven to be misleading on a case-by-case basis. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has criticised this, while business organisations defend the right of companies to differentiate their products in different markets.

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