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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

Review of dual-use export controls [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Beatrix Immenkamp (6th edition, updated on 15.1.2021),

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© Jne Valokuvaus / Fotolia

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly defines cyber-surveillance technology as dual-use technology and introduces human rights violations as an explicit justification for export control. It also includes provisions to control emerging technologies. The proposed regulation introduces greater transparency into dual-use export control by increasing the level of detail Member States will have to provide on exports, licences, licence denials and prohibitions.

On 17 January 2018, based on the INTA committee’s report on the legislative proposal, the European Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations. For its part, the Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 5 June 2019, and on the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency began negotiations with the European Parliament’s delegation on 21 October 2019. Trilogue negotiations ended on 9 November 2020, with agreement on a final compromise text. Endorsed by the INTA committee on 30 November, the Parliament is expected to vote in plenary on the text in early 2021.

Interactive PDF

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items (recast).
Committees responsible: International Trade (INTA) COM(2016) 616 of 28.9.2016, 2016/0295(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: Klaus Buchner (Green/EFA, Germany)
Shadow rapporteurs: Sven Simon (EPP, Germany)
Bernd Lange (S&D, Germany)
Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew Europe, the Netherlands)
Geert Bourgeois (ECR, Belgium)
Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, United Kingdom)
Next steps expected: Final first-reading vote in plenary



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