Strengthened EU export control rules kick in as the bloc improves its ability to respond to new security risks and emerging technologies.
The new Export Control Regulation enters into force today and will tighten controls on trade in dual-use items – civilian goods and technologies with possible military or security use – while enhancing the EU’s capacity to protect human rights and support secure supply chains for strategic items.
Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for EU Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said, “We need to better respond to emerging threats in an increasingly volatile world. That means getting a better grip on dual-use technologies, including cyber-surveillance technologies that can be misused for human rights violations. Thanks to these new EU rules, the EU countries will now also work even more closely amongst themselves and with allies on potential security risks arising from biotech, Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies. We will also team up to ensure a level playing field for companies, for example, in the context of the new EU-US Trade and Technology Council.”
The new framework allows the EU to take a number of important actions to pool expertise and tackle particular challenges, notably in relation to cyber-surveillance, where due diligence guidelines are in preparation, but also emerging dual-use technologies such as advanced computing.
The regulation introduces greater transparency by increasing the level of consultations and reporting between Member States and the Commission, contributing to the development of a new EU electronic licensing platform already piloted in four EU Member States.
It also provides a legal basis for EU action at multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral levels – recognising that the effectiveness of controls depends on the cooperation of the main technology producers – and builds on the existing multilateral framework of export controls, namely the Wassenaar Arrangement, which forms the basis for many restrictions imposed by the regulation at EU level.
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