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The 2018 EU SALW Strategy: Towards an Integrated and Comprehensive Approach


Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Paper no. 62

April, 2019

In November 2018 the European Union (EU) adopted a new strategy to combat the illicit proliferation of firearms, small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. Through this new strategy, the EU and its member states commit themselves to coordinating their actions and initiatives on this important security challenge. This paper describes the development of EU policy on firearms and SALW, and analyses the actions   foreseen in the new strategy. The 2018 EU SALW Strategy takes account of the changing security environment and contains various measures to secure the full life cycle of these weapons. This paper concludes that the 2018 EU SALW Strategy can be considered a highly positive development, but stresses that more attention is needed on upgrading the export control policies of EU member states. It recommends using the current review process of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms exports to develop a truly comprehensive approach to combating the illicit proliferation of these lethal weapons.


Nils Duquet <p>Nils Duquet (Belgium) is a Senior Researcher at the Flemish Peace Institute, an independent research institute affiliated to the Flemish Parliament (Belgium). He has authored more than 50 policy-oriented and academic publications on topics such as illicit arms trafficking, terrorist access to illicit weapons markets, arms export control and domestic gun control policies.</p>