11.8.2020 : 12:00 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


European Union (EU)


Brussels, Belgium

Web site

Short description

The EU is an economic and political partnership with the main objectives of promoting peace and the well-being of its people through common economic, foreign, security, and justice policies.


The EU budget is funded by contributions from its 27 member states.

The EU traces its origins from the European Economic Community, formed by six countries in 1958. The Maastricht Treaty established the EU under its current name in 1992. Since 2007 there has been a total of 27 member states. Six additional countries are candidate or acceding countries.


27 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: Croatia (acceding); Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey (candidates)

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

EU members represent:

  • 27 of 27 Europol members
  • 21 of 28 NATO members
  • 27 of 56 OSCE members
  • 19 of 46 RCC members

* Information accurate as of 13 June 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Carolin Thielking
  • Political Desk Officer and SALW Focal Contact Point, European External Action Service


PoA-related activities

The EU’s commitment to strong arms transfer controls began with the adoption in 1998 of the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, replaced since 2008 by the Council Common Position Defining Common Rules Governing the Control of Exports of Military Technology and Equipment, including small arms. In 2003 the EU Council also adopted the Common Position on the Control of Conventional Arms Brokering. The EU Council Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports (COARM) ensures coordination among EU member states in their national implementation of the 2008 Common Position. The EU also publishes a regular annual report providing data on EU member states’ arms exports to third countries. In 2005 the EU Council adopted a strategy to fight against the illicit accumulation and trafficking of small arms, in which international cooperation and assistance play a central role. Its implementation is monitored with six-monthly progress reports. EU assistance programmes cover, for instance, the full implementation of relevant multilateral instruments, stockpile management, the destruction of surplus weapons, assistance on the control of small arms exports, training to improve border controls, and actions to counter illegal trafficking flows and confront the root causes of illegal demand for small arms. The EU Council Working Party on Global Disarmament and Arms Controls (CODUN) holds regular meetings dedicated to the issue of small arms and their ammunition and, among other things, discusses current and future projects and areas of cooperation.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs
The EU is a major donor funding PoA-related activities in close cooperation with other ROs, for instance EAC, CEEAC, ECOWAS, RECSA, SEESAC, SICA, and INTERPOL. In addition it also regularly cooperates and/or consults with ASEAN, NATO, the OSCE, UNODA, UNODC, and others.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • Council Common Position 2003/468/CFSP on the Control of Arms Brokering (2003)
  • Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP Defining Common Rules Governing the Control of Exports of Military Technology and Equipment (2008)
  • Council Decision 2010/765/CFSP on EU Action to Counter the Illicit Trade of SALW by Air (2010)
  • Council Decision 2011/428/CFSP in Support of UNODA Activities to Implement the UN PoA (2011)

Other official documents of interest

  • EU Strategy to Combat the Illicit Accumulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Their Ammunition (2005)


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