Kommentar: Sind die überarbeiteten Politischen Grundsätze der Bundesregierung für den Export von Kriegswaffen und sonstigen Rüstungsgütern tatsächlich „restriktiver“?.

Release date: 2019-07

On 26 June 2019, the German cabinet updated the "Political Principles for the Export of War Weapons and Other Military Equipment".  Max Mutschler (BICC) and Simone Wisotzki (HSFK) welcome “some minor progress in German arms exports policy”. At the same time, the authors fear in their Commentary that the passages on facilitating European arms cooperation will be used to circumvent German arms export controls by means of European arms cooperation.

The German government regularly describes its arms exports policy as “restrictive” even though it repeatedly approves arms exports to authoritarian regimes and areas of tension.  Last week, it published its revised Political Principles for the Export of War Weapons and Other Military Equipment that had not been changed for 19 years.  It was the red-green German government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer that had last adapted the Principles to its political goals.  The Political Principles supplement German legislation—and in particular the Military Weapons Control Act (Kriegswaffenkontrollgesetz) and the German Foreign Trade & Payments Act (AWG).  They are only politically binding but reflect the ideas of the respective governments. In the present, now 4th version of the Political Principles, the central and new question is about how to deal with European arms cooperation.

This commentary was published in the PRIF Blog at the same time.