The Arms Trade Treaty and the Control of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies

What Can the European Union’s Export Control Regime Offer?
1 / 2013
Daniel Fiott
Katherine Prizeman


This paper seeks to delineate some preliminary factors and working methods that could work in favour of establishing a workable international export control regime for dual-use goods and technologies. Drawing on the work initiated by various United Nations initiatives and the Wassenaar Agreement, but specifically looking at the European Union export regime model, this working paper asks if and how a similar model could be adopted at the international level. Far from suggesting that the EU regime should of could be adopted on a global basis or that the regime is full-proof, the authors acknowledge that EU regulations are seen as among the most stringent of frameworks on dual-use goods and technologies available. Accordingly, this paper asks what elements of the EU’s control regime could be of international benefit after the ATT negotiations and how it could be adopted on a more international basis. Indeed, any future ATT control mechanism for dual-use items will have to draw on existing arms transfers and control regimes. It does this through an analysis of the ATT and the current discourse on dual-use goods and technologies in the negotiations, an stocktaking of the strengths and weaknesses of the EU’s export control regime and by asking what elements of the EU’s regime could be utilised for international control mechanisms after a future ATT is negotiated.


Daniel Fiott holds an M.Phil. degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and a B.Sc. degree in International Studies from the Open University, United Kingdom. He currently serves as a doctoral researcher at the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research interests include the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, European defence-industrial integration and International Relations theory.

Katherine Prizeman holds an M.S. degree in Global Affairs from New York University, United States and a B.A. in International Language/Business and Philosophy from the University of Scranton, United States. She currently serves as the International Coordinator of the Disarmament Programme at Global Action to Prevent War, New York. Her expertise is in conventional arms control, disarmament, the arms trade and she has substantial experience with the United Nations system and global NGO networks.