In 2010, 56% of EU small arms exports authorizations to the MENA came from Belgium.
Here’s what I wrote on January 12th, 2012:
But if the tiny european country was the EU’s most prominent exporter of such arms in 2009, it looks like Germany took over for 2010.
In 2010, Belgium issued 48 SALW (Small Arms and Light Weapons) licenses to Middle Eastern and North African countries, for € 62,776,081 (out of a EU total of € 111,782,173).
When it comes to the 2010 worldwide small arms exports (and/or parts), Belgium lost its leader’s place. Germany is first with € 237,344,594 (5002 licenses), Belgium comes second with € 231,000,997 (666 licenses). Then comes Austria with € 207,770,833 (1261 licenses).
You can find all the data in the EU COARM (Conventional Arms Exports) 2010 report.
Update January 27, 2012 - not 56% but 32%. Niels Duquet, from the Vlaams Vredesinstituut wrote me to tell me that the EU COARM figures for Belgium appear not to be correct.
“Our analyses have shown that the official EU COARM figures for Belgium are not correct. A Flemish transit license for firearms from the US to Jordan (value 39,5 million euro) is mistakenly counted as an export license in the COARM-report. There are also other mistakes in the report.”
“This, however, does not change the global picture: Belgium is still the largest exporter of firearms to the Middle East in 2010. Total value: 23 million euro (32% of EU small arms export to Middle East). These firearms were in 2010 mainly destined for Saudi Arabia.”
A word of explanation:
“If you subtract the Flemish transit license of firearms (ML1) to Jordan (that was mistakenly added to the Belgian export figures), the total value of Belgian firearms export to Middle East becomes 23,2 million euro (instead of 62,8 million euro). The total value of EU firearms export to Middle East then becomes 72,2 million euro (instead of 111,8 million euro). This is off course if there are no other (major) mistakes in the COARM-report…”
32% instead of 56%. The least we can say is that the COARM report, through which the EU informs officialy on its weapons exports, is not only incomplete, but contains also huge mistakes in its figures.