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My report on EU arms exports made it through Parliament!

My report on arms export has been adopted: On Wednesday, it was approved by the European Parliament - weeks and month of fierce negotiations have finally paid off! But what is this report all about?

Weapons are not like any other export good!

First of all, the report recognises one simple truth: One cannot compare weapons to other export goods.

EU countries cooperate more and more on arms production and we expect increasing EU-funding for research and development in this sector. This means that there should also be EU-level monitoring and control. auch auf EU-Ebene stattfinden.

One important factor is transparency. In order to ensure public oversight, the report calls for a userfriendly online database on Member States' arms exports - I am pleased that EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell has announced that we will be receiving this format. 

The report moreover asks for joint EU-level risk assessments, and better controls on where weapons exported really end up. Another main point is a restrictive mechanism for EU control of any future exports, based on the criteria that member states have already agreed upon. For cases where member states have received EU funding e.g. for arms development, and do not comply with these rules, the report demands that sanctions can be applied.

The report also welcomes the arms embargo imposed by several member states against Saudi-Arabia.

If we want the EU to play a role in this world in chaos, if we want to build a true European Defence Union, we need to join in arms production, but we also need to join in oversight and arms export control.

This report certainly is a big step into the right direction, and I am proud on what we have achieved. But more work lies ahead: One key problem is that up until now, the "Common Position" which provides criteria for arms export control is not yet EU law. This means in practice that it is impossible to sue a member state for breaking the rules, for example at the European Court of Justice.

Another aspect is parliamentary scrutiny: I want the European Parliament to have a say on when European arms can be exported outside the EU. This is especially important as more and more arms are developed and produced as a collaboration between different EU member states.

Of one thing you can be sure: I will keep the pressure up to and continue fighting for a restrictive EU arms policy!

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