The S&D Group in the European Parliament strongly regrets the lack of a clear signal on strengthening and effectively applying the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms exports. The lost opportunity came as a result of the right-wing EPP Group voting against the resolution.
S&D MEP and co-ordinator of the Parliament's security and defence committee Maria Eleni Koppa said:
"The EPP's negative vote in the plenary on this resolution was a deliberate act to water down the strong language of the compromise agreement on arms exports, which they had previously withdrawn from at the last minute in the foreign affairs committee. Nevertheless, we will continue to advocate for tighter controls on arms exports."
Ana Gomes, S&D MEP and co-ordinator of the foreign affairs committee, added:
"The Common Position should be made clearer and more unambiguous. There should be greater transparency and a more active role for civil society, national parliaments and the European Parliament to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the standards agreed in the Common Position, both at national and international levels."
German S&D MEP Knut Fleckenstein continued:
"Yesterday's vote clearly showed that EPP MEPs are more concerned about the level of controversy which this issue could cause their party in government before the elections rather than the importance and urgency of addressing the violations of this Common Position on arms exports."
Greek MEP Maria Eleni Koppa | Photo by: European Parliament - Audiovisual Unit
Anna Gomes - Crédit: Europen Parliament/P.Naj-Oleari