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Assessing selected European Union external assistance and cooperation projects on WMD non-proliferation

Non-proliferation Paper No. 6

Non-proliferation Paper No. 6

Publisher: SIPRI
December, 2011

The central policy of the European Union (EU) on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), known as ‘e!ective multilateralism’, is twofold. The EU not only supports and works with multilateral nonproliferation regimes, but also assists non-EU countries to implement their commitments under the international non-proliferation regimes to which they are party. The EU’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation programmes are currently guided by the EU CBRN Action Plan, which aims to ‘reduce the threat and damage from CBRN incidents of accidental, natural and intentional origin’. Thus, the programmes cover but are not limited to CBRN non-proliferation and have increasingly come to include international cooperation, including engagement with industries and scientific communities. Due to EU institutional arrangements, these programmes are often labelled as ‘internal security matters’ and thus overlooked in EU external action, despite their contribution to non-proliferation objectives. This paper presents some of the EU’s WMD non-proliferation activities: as an actor in multilateral regimes and in its external CBRN cooperation programmes, with a focus on the seventh financial perspective (2007–13). It points to emerging areas where EU actors might want to consolidate their interests in the next phase of programming of EU non-proliferation activities.


Dr Lina Grip was a Researcher with the European Security Programme.