13 November 2018 The European Parliament calls to strengthen the checks on EU arms export

According to the 19th annual report on arms export, that covers statistics on licences and exports of conventional arms from EU Member States during the 2016 calendar year, the EU is the second largest arms supplier in the world with 27% of global arms export in that year. Despite the common regulation in this area, setting the criteria on who could get an arms export licence, member states have systematically failed to apply them, Parliament said. For that reason, MEPs call for mechanisms to sanction EU States that break the common rules on arms exports. Rapporteur Sabine Lösing said: “Arms exports do not stabilise foreign countries or regions, neither do they help create peace. Arms amplify conflicts. In Yemen, European weapons are fundamentally responsible for the war taking place. The Common Position on arms exports must be implemented effectively. That includes, among others, a sanctions mechanism”. Furthermore, MEPs also raised their concerns about the risk that European weapons end-up in wrong hands, stating that “they are shocked at the amount of EU-made weapons and ammunition found in the hands of Daesh, in Syria and Irak”.