The European Parliament today adopted a report setting out its assessment of how EU rules on arms exports are being implemented and how to tighten them up, with a large majority of MEPs voting in favour. Commenting after the vote, Green MEP Bodil Valero, who is the European Parliament's rapporteur/draftsperson for the report, said:
"The European Parliament has today sent a clear signal to EU governments on the need to tighten up EU rules and practices on arms exports. The existing rules are binding but a major problem is that these rules are not properly implemented, with the consequence that arms still end up in the wrong hands. The report highlights the need to ensure better implementation but also calls for stricter EU rules.
"European arms continue to end up in the hands of repressive regimes, terrorists and criminals, fuelling the conflicts in those countries. EU arms exports are not only a threat to the citizens of recipient countries and their neighbouring states, but also in Europe: arms exported to conflict zones later make it back to the black market in Europe and into the hands of criminals and terrorists.
"MEPs have called for stricter risk assessment before granting arms export deals. This must also take into account the human rights situation in the third countries. The report also calls for on-site inspections of the end users of arms. There is also a need for greater transparency into license decisions and export statistics."