Communication: The review of export control policy: ensuring security and competitiveness in a changing world

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2014) 244
Publication Date 24/04/2014
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The EU is a major producer and exporter of dual-use items and therefore a significant actor in counter-proliferation export controls. The EU export control regime emerged in the late 1990s and was gradually strengthened over the last decade, in particular in response to the EU Strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) of December 2003.

Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 implements international commitments under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004), as well as relevant international agreements and multilateral export control regimes. The Regulation enables the free circulation of dual-use items – with some exceptions – inside the EU and lays down basic principles and common rules for the control of the export, brokering, transit and transfer of dual-use items.

Article 25 of the Regulation calls on the Commission to review its implementation and present proposals for amendments. Moreover, ten years after the adoption of the EU Strategy against WMD proliferation, the Council called for the continued pursuit of an effective EU WMD counter-proliferation policy and for a review and strengthening of export controls.

As a first step toward preparing the review, the Commission issued a Green Paper launching a broad public debate concerning the EU export control system and, in January 2013, published a Staff Working Document identifying the main issues raised by over 100 stakeholders, including their views concerning possible evolutions towards a more integrated EU export control regime ensuring security and a more level-playing field. A report on the implementation of the Regulation was adopted on 16 October 2013, marking a second step in the review process.

The present Communication aims at mapping the direction for EU export controls, and identifies concrete policy options for their modernisation and their adaptation to rapidly changing technological, economic and political circumstances.

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