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Background and Objectives
Since 2006, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has been mandated by the European Union to implement various outreach programmes in the area of export control, both for military and dual-use items.
The aim of these outreach initiatives is to offer third countries technical support to develop and/or strengthen their export control systems so as to be able to prevent the illicit transfer of conventional arms and goods destined for the production of weapons of mass destruction. Another important aspect of the outreach programmes is to promote adherence to and effective implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in partner countries.
The work done within these programmes focuses heavily on building national capacities in the partner countries. In order to achieve this, individual activities are organized on request of and in close coordination with the partner countries. Relying on a large pool of international experts who share their expertise and experiences with their counterparts in the partner countries, the activities offer targeted support that addresses the issues specific to the country.
The EU outreach programmes are funded by the European Union and co-funded by the German Foreign Office and BAFA. More recently, BAFA has also been mandated to implement a number of bilateral outreach projects funded by the German Foreign Office.
BAFA is currently implementing the following EU-funded programmes in the area of export control and non-proliferation:
EU Arms Trade Treaty - Outreach Project II (ATT-OP II)
Based on the EU Council Decision 2017/915/CFSP, BAFA has been given the mandate to implement the second ATT outreach project, together with the French agency Expertise France. The project, which is financed by the European Union and co-financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and BAFA, carries on the work successfully begun under the first ATT project (2013 – 2016). The second ATT project will continue until 2020.
The ATT OP projects aim to strengthen awareness of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and contribute to its universalization by supporting ATT implementation at various national and regional levels. The ATT came into force on December 24, 2014, after more than 50 states had ratified the treaty. It is the first international treaty providing worldwide standards for conventional arms trade.
The projects provide support to non-EU countries for enhancing their arms transfer control mechanisms through tailor-made cooperation and advice delivered during workshops, study visits and regional events. In the framework of ATT OP II, BAFA cooperates with nine long-term partners (roadmap partner countries) and a number of ad-hoc partners in Africa, Central and South East Asia, Eastern Europe/Caucasus, Latin America and the Caribbean. Some of the partner countries already participated in the first project phase and renewed their cooperation with the EU. Over the course of the project, it is possible for further partner countries to receive ad-hoc support.
The aim of the COARM IV project is to strengthen the control of exports of conventional arms by providing support in areas such as legislation, licensing and customs. The project is based on EU Council Decision 2018/101/CFSP and is currently in its fourth phase.
In addition to the already established cooperation with partner countries in North Africa, Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, partner countries in Central and South East Asia, as well as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, have been included in newest phase of the project. Actions taken in this project include study visits to partner and EU countries, as well as individual support measures, which can be requested by the partners. Moreover, the project provides a platform for regional dialogue among the participating partner countries.
The COARM IV project will run for two years from April 2018 until March 2020.
EU P2P Export Control Programme for Dual Use Goods
The EU P2P Export Control Programme for Dual-Use Goods was launched by the CBRN Centres of Excellence initiative. A consortium led by Expertise France was given the mandate to implement the project over 36 months starting in September 2017. As a member of this consortium, BAFA is working with partners in Southeastern Europe to strengthen and improve their export control systems for dual-use goods within the context of the European Neighborhood Policy.
The cooperation builds on individual roadmaps including hands-on training, case studies as well as legal and technical assessment. The project also provides a platform for regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
EU Export Control Outreach for Dual-Use Items (Centres of Excellence Project No. 38 – CoE 38)
The Centres of Excellence Project No. 38 for Jordan and Lebanon is based on a long-standing cooperation in the framework of previous EU outreach projects. Separate roadmaps with a range of individual measures for both partner countries will further strengthen existing relationships and continue individual support in the field of dual-use export control.
The CoE 38 began in January 2014 and is currently scheduled to end in July 2019. During the first phase of the project (until July 2017), BAFA worked with partner countries Jordan and Kazakhstan. The second project phase focuses on continuing cooperation with Jordan, while initiating a new partnership with Lebanon.
A novelty in this project is the employment of long-term experts in the partner countries as well as in Eschborn in order to implement the action plans. The locally deployed long-term expert is in close contact with all relevant national ministries and authorities in the partner countries and thus acts as a link between the BAFA outreach team and local institutions.
Link to Outreach Projects
BAFA is also responsible for implementing a number of bilateral outreach activities financed by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Since 2015, BAFA has been engaging in a bilateral dialogue with the People's Republic of China, focusing on export control of dual-use goods and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In December 2017, BAFA organized the first German-Chinese Export Control Forum in Frankfurt.
BAFA also organizes, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and UNODA, the biennial Wiesbaden Conference that centres on the dialogue with industry in order to facilitate the practical application of the export control regulations foreseen by United Nations Resolution 1540 (2004).
Some national outreach activities also offer bilateral support for the implementation and universalization of the ATT. In the past, BAFA has carried out, among others, activities in South and Southeast Asia and the CARICOM member states.