24 Feb 2017

European Commission Proposed Recast of the European Export Control Regime

European Commission Proposed Recast of the European Export Control Regime


On 28 September 2016 the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation (COM(2016)616) for a modernisation of the EU export controls for dual-use items. This approach includes streamlining the licensing process as well as addressing the latest technological and political challenges facing the European Union.

DIGITALEUROPE and its members are fully committed to the protection of human rights, international peace and security. The ordinary legislative procedure will now see this proposal revised by the European Parliament before agreement and formal adoption together with the Council. Therefore, we recommend that the imminent revision of the proposal must include appropriate changes to satisfactorily resolve these points raised in the paper to avoid unintended consequences.

This paper sets out our suggestions for changes to the proposed Regulation. More details are provided in the annex to this document. These are grouped under three key themes:

1. Ambiguous definitions and scope, such as cyber surveillance technologies, licensing criteria, and Intangible Technology Transfers, create legal uncertainty and discourage harmonisation for application of the Regulation across the European Union.

2. Disproportionate measures, for example ‘Catch-all’ controls and technical assistance, create the wrong environment for the operation and growth of digital services and are not fully aligned with the objectives of the Digital Single Market.

3. Unilateral regimes, like the proposals for Licence Validity Periods, harm the global competitiveness of European industry and ignore existing international export control regimes with Europe’s trading partners without contributing effectively to international peace and security and the protection of human rights.

Throughout the process of public consultation and review of the current Regulation, DIGITALEUROPE has been a trusted partner of the European Commission. We would welcome further opportunities to collaborate with the co-legislators to achieve the best possible controls for the export of dual-use items.

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