Overview of advisory notes
30/09/2008 Advice concerning the Arms Trade Cooperation Agreement
As a result of the amendment of the Special Act of 8 August 1980 on institutional reform, the three Belgian Regions have since 30 August 2003 had competence for the import, export and transit of military material and dual-use goods and technology. On 17 July 2007 a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Federal State and the three Regions to better organise the practice of this competence and the correct implementation of international and European commitments. The competent Flemish minister has requested the advice of the Flemish Peace Institute concerning this Cooperation Agreement. The global advice of the Peace Institute on the present Cooperation Agreement is favourable. However, the institute proposes a number of issues that need further attention. The recommendations of the Peace Institute refer to, amongst others, the access to information coming from international control regimes in the sphere of nuclear arms control.
08/07/2008 Advice concerning the proposal for a directive on the liberalization of the European defence market
By launching the proposal for a directive on simplifying terms and conditions of transfers of defence-related products within the Community, the European Commission aims at harmonizing and liberalizing the European defence market. In its advice concerning this proposal, the Flemish Peace Institute understands the need for simplification and harmonisation of the licensing system for intra-community arms trade. The main concern is that the liberalisation of the internal market is not accompanied by a common European policy for arms trade with third countries. This is not beneficial to the principle of fair competition, nor for the control on risks to peace and security.
01/02/2008 Advice concerning the Chemical Weapons Convention Cooperation Agreement
In 1993, Belgium signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The ban on chemical weapons is the most important element in the CWC. A national law is required to enable the implementation of the accompanying verification regime and to provide for sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the CWC. Given the variegated nature of the subject matter of this Convention in the Belgian institutional line-up, a Cooperation Agreement to that effect was drafted in the name of the federal and regional governments. This Cooperation Agreement needs to be adopted by the federal and regional parliaments. In the present advice, the Cooperation Agreement is analyzed and held up to further scrutiny.
12/11/2007 Advice concerning the policy letter 2007-'08 of the minister competent for foreign arms trade
The annual policy letter of the minister competent for the licences for import, export and transit of weapons, ammunition and material especially intended for military or order-maintaining purposes and for related technologies includes a list of situations for which the advice of the Peace Institute is requested. Following the advice of the Peace Institute, parliament will debate upon this policy letter resulting in a resolution for the Flemish Government.