En plus d’exporter à travers le monde le multilatéralisme et l’assistance en matière de lutte contre la prolifération, l’Union Européenne exporte des armes légères et de petit calibre.
After the publication of my pieces in The New York Times (1 and 2), Le Soir and Apache about the fact that the Walloon Government would have to take a decision regarding arms export licenses to Qatar and Saudi Arabia after those countries publicly claimed they wanted to arm the Syrian rebels, a question was asked in the Walloon Parliament (see the video, in French). Here is the transcription (starts page 10, in French).
Rudy Demotte, minister-president of the Walloon Region, the authority delivering arms export licenses and the only shareholder of the weapons fabric FN Herstal, recognized that Qatar and Saudi Arabia pose a risk of re-export of arms (as stated by the criterion 7 of the European Common Position).
By allowing new licenses, the Walloon Region breaches this point of the European reglement. By suspending new licenses, the Walloon Region threatened its arms industry.
Mister Demotte said that he was waiting for a COARM advice, to see what the other EU member states would do, before taking a decision. According to the Walloon Region, this advice had come, and will be followed, but has to remain confidential. According to other sources, the COARM didn’t discuss the matter, and their has been no advice whatsoever. More to come this month!
European Common Position on exports of military technology and equipment
For the purpose of documentation, here is the EU Common Position on arms exports, adopted in 2008. European Common Position on exports of military technology and equipment
Public Hearing on Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons - Subcommittee on Security and Defense - European Parliament (VIDEO)
With Keith Krause, Director of Small Arms Survey; Clara Ganslandt, Chair of CODUN, EEAS; Marc Bromley, Researcher at SIPRI; and Cédric Poitevin, Researcher at GRIP.
More about this soon on Apache.