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Control of arms export

The Council yesterday adopted a decision amending the Council Common Position of 8 December 2008 on the control of arms exports, as well as a revised user's guide. It also adopted conclusions on the review of the Common Position.

The Council decision takes account of a number of developments at both European Union and international level that have resulted in new obligations and commitments for member states since the adoption of the Common Position of 2008. These developments include in particular the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 24 December 2014, which regulates the international trade in conventional arms. All member states are States Parties to the ATT. The ATT aims to establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms and to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.

In its conclusions, the Council recalls its commitment to strengthening the control of the export of military technology and equipment and to reinforce cooperation and promote convergence in the field of export of military technology and equipment within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. It does this through the setting, upholding and implementation of high common standards for the management of transfers of military technology and equipment by all member states.

The Council reaffirms that military equipment and technology should be traded in a responsible and accountable way. It renews its commitment to promote cooperation and convergence in member states' policies to prevent the export of military technology and equipment which might be used for internal repression or international aggression, or contribute to regional instability.

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