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SIPRI expertise feeds into review of European Union export control policy for dual-use goods

The European Union is reviewing its export control policy for dual-use goods and technologies. It aims to adjust existing policies to meet changes in security environments, trading patterns and technology through a broad range of legal and practical measures. Although concrete proposals will not be presented before early 2016, they could potentially include:

  • Extending controls on cyber-surveillance technologies and shifting towards a "human security" approach in export licensing
  • Further harmonizing of national implementation
  • Enhancing information exchange between EU governments
  • Training and capacity building for licensing and enforcement officers both within the EU and globally
  • Adopting a range of measures aimed at facilitating trade.
SIPRI provided input into this ongoing process by supporting two related but independent initiatives by the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP).

In January 2015, the EC commissioned SIPRI and Ecorys, a research-based consulting firm, to carry out a data collection project. The data will provide a basis for assessing the actual and potential social and economic impacts of the current export control framework and the various review options. SIPRI Programme Director Sibylle Bauer led the project, while SIPRI Programme Co-Director Mark Bromley and SIPRI Researcher Vincent Boulanin focussed on controls on cyber-surveillance technologies. The final report and annexes are now available online.

In June 2015, the EP’s Committee on International Trade and Sub-committee on Security and Defence held a workshop to inform MEPs about the review process. The European Parliament will have an important role in the review due to its co-decision powers granted by the Lisbon Treaty. Sibylle Bauer spoke at the workshop and, together with Ian Stewart from King’s College London, produced a study for the European Parliament’s think tank analysing the review options. The report is available on the EP website.