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Arms trade: the EU must enforce its export criteria

Crises elsewhere are also our business, especially when our weapons are involved. At the General Affairs Council on Monday, the EU Member States spoke out in favour of more transparency in arms exports, among other things. However, it is not enough just to know where our weapons end up. What is needed is an EU mechanism, in other words a uniform licensing procedure, to prevent our weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

The 2008 Common Position on arms exports should ensure that European arms are not delivered to warmongers and human rights violators. Eight very good export criteria should ensure this. So far, however, the licensing procedures for arms exports in the EU member states differ considerably. This makes it possible, for example, that despite a German arms embargo, German arms companies continue to supply arms parts to other EU member states, which can then be exported to Saudi Arabia. So despite EU directives, European arms trade remains confusing; our common export criteria are not being observed.

Eine Überarbeitung des Gemeinsamen Standpunktes war also längst überfällig. Was heute im Rat beschlossen worden ist, ist jedoch kein großer Wurf. Als Grüne begrüßen wir zwar, dass die EU-Mitgliedstaaten nun unsere vom Plenum 2017 angenommene Forderungen nach mehr Transparenz bei Rüstungsexporten aufgegriffen haben. Das reicht aber nicht aus. Gebraucht wird aber ein EU-Mechanismus zur strikten Einhaltung unserer sehr guten Exportkriterien für den Rüstungshandel. Das erklärte ich auch der Süddeutschen Zeitung.

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