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Review of dual-use export controls

15-01-2021

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 is expected to vote in plenary on the text in early 2021. Sixth 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

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.

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

The EU Trademark reform package

14-12-2015

The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) have reached a second-reading agreement on the trademark reform package. Following the Legal Affairs Committee reports adopted on 3 December 2015, the EP plenary is set to approve the amended legislation and the renaming of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) as 'European Union Intellectual Property Office'. In March 2013, the Commission presented a package of proposals for amending the Trademark Regulation and ...

The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) have reached a second-reading agreement on the trademark reform package. Following the Legal Affairs Committee reports adopted on 3 December 2015, the EP plenary is set to approve the amended legislation and the renaming of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) as 'European Union Intellectual Property Office'. In March 2013, the Commission presented a package of proposals for amending the Trademark Regulation and the Trademark Directive as well as for adjusting the fees payable to OHIM. The Commission's main objective in proposing this reform was to make the EU trademark system more accessible, efficient and less costly for business. The new legislation specifically aims at simplifying, accelerating and harmonising trademark application procedures; at increasing legal certainty by clarifying some provisions; at ensuring better coordination between the EU trademark agency and national offices for the purpose of promoting convergence of practices and common tools; at putting the legislation into line with the Lisbon Treaty; and at updating the governance rules of the EU trademark agency.

Agreement on Community trademark reform

08-12-2015

The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) have reached a second-reading agreement on the trademark reform package. The Council accepted a significant number of amendments introduced by the EP. Following the Legal Affairs Committee reports adopted on 3 December 2015, the EP plenary is set to approve the amended legislation and the renaming of the 'Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market' as 'European Union Intellectual Property Office'. Please click here for the full publication ...

The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) have reached a second-reading agreement on the trademark reform package. The Council accepted a significant number of amendments introduced by the EP. Following the Legal Affairs Committee reports adopted on 3 December 2015, the EP plenary is set to approve the amended legislation and the renaming of the 'Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market' as 'European Union Intellectual Property Office'. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

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