The EU Common Position on arms export controls lays down a notification and consultation mechanism for export licence denials, including a transparency procedure (publication of EU annual reports on arms exports).
In September 2019, the Council adopted a Decision amending the Common Position. This Decision takes account of a number of developments at both European Union and international level that have resulted in new obligations and commitments for EU Member States since the adoption of the Common Position of 2008. These developments include for example the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty in 2014.
A consolidated version of the EU Common Position can be found here.
In September 2019, The Council also adopted Conclusions on the review of the Common Position.
The Common Position contains 8 risk assessment criteria that all EU countries apply to their licensing decisions for exports of conventional weapons.
The EU Common Position has contributed significantly to the convergence of national arms export control policies. It extends controls to brokering, transit transactions and intangible transfers of technology. Its principles and criteria have also been officially subscribed to by a number of countries outside the EU.
It requires EU governments to apply risk assessments and transparency measures to goods listed by the 'EU Common Military List'.
The User's Guide (revised in 2019) is intended to help Member States apply the EU Common Position. It does not replace the Common Position in any way, but summarises agreed guidance for the interpretation of its criteria and implementation of its articles. It is intended for use primarily by export licensing officials.