The new Political Principles of the Federal Government do not represent a tightening of German arms export policy, contrary to earlier announcements. With regard to the non-proliferation of small arms and light weapons they do represent progress, said Prelate Dr Martin Dutzmann, the Protestant Chairman of the Joint Conference on Church and Development (GKKE) at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin on 17 December 2019. However, there are still considerable exceptions. "The GKKE considers the revision of the Political Principles to be insufficient and reiterates its call for a legally binding Arms Export Control Act. It calls on the Federal Government and the German Bundestag to draw up and adopt such a law", said Dutzmann.
The revised EU Common Position on the control of exports of military equipment and technology also falls short of requirements. "The opportunity to substantially strengthen European arms export controls has been missed," emphasises Prelate Dr Karl Jüsten, the Catholic Chairman of the GKKE. "The overall picture of European arms export controls is accordingly unpleasant: in the course of intensified arms cooperation restrictive export regulations are being softened, while at the same time European arms export controls are stagnating with regard to their content and institutional regulations. The EU is thus failing to live up to its claim to pursue a restrictive arms export policy. One can wonder sometimes, what values form the basis of the European community", said Jüsten.
Dr. Simone Wisotzki, Chairwoman of the GKKE Expert Group on Arms Exports and member of the PRIF Executive Board, emphasizes: "A look at the concrete figures, such as the individual export licenses, which have increased considerably in the first half of 2019, makes clear that there is no discernible trend towards a restrictive arms export policy". Instead, exports to third countries have become the rule. "The GKKE therefore calls on the Federal Government to adhere to its self-imposed principles and, without exception, cease supplying war weapons to third countries unless it can actually provide a plausible foreign and security policy justification in a few individual cases," Wisotzki said.
The statements by Martin Dutzmann, Simone Wisotzki and Karl Jüsten as well as a preliminary version of the Armament Export Report 2019 are available for download on the GKKE website.