17 Jan 2018

Press release - EP vote on Recast of Export Control Regulation - EU approach should be aligned with international export control regimes

Press release - EP vote on Recast of Export Control Regulation - EU approach should be aligned with international export control regimes

DIGITALEUROPE, the industry association representing the digital technology industry in Europe, acknowledges the efforts of the European Parliament (EP) to advance the Commission’s proposal for a modernization of the EU Export Control Regime. Following today’s vote in the plenary of the EP in Strasbourg, we invite the EP and Council to stand ready to work towards a legally sound and operational export control regime in line with the international best practices and export control regimes.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE said: “The proposed reform of the European Export Control Regime has the potential to make the existing rules fit for the digital world. To ensure a proper modernization of the regulation, we must however guarantee clear definitions and licensing criteria, while avoiding any disproportionate measures that are not fully aligned with the DSM.”

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the EP’s strong support for the introduction of new EU General Authorisations for encryption and intra-company transfers, putting the EU industry on the same competitive level as many of our trading partners. Since encryption is widely available and predominantly for civil use, DIGITALEUROPE agrees with the EP that it is questionable to label encryption as dual-use.

DIGITALEUROPE further welcomes the EP’s efforts to bring more legal clarity in certain areas, such as the definition of cyber surveillance technology and the exception for security research. We consider the differentiation between traditional dual-use items and cyber surveillance technology crucial to ensure clarity and security in daily businesses operations. Having said that, DIGITALEUROPE strongly recalls that unilateral regimes harm the global competitiveness of European industry.

DIGITALEUROPE has always supported the objectives of the reform proposal to protect and promote human rights. Yet, we see the urgent need to further confine the application of the “catch-all clause” to make the proposal workable for companies in practice. DIGITALEUROPE also regrets that the Parliament did not attain a level playing field between the European and global export control regimes; the extended definition of dual-use items and the new set of products listed in Annex I.B rather illustrate a shift away from the international regime.

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