Germany poised to introduce new laws aimed at limiting arms exports
Germany’s Foreign Minister has announced that new legislation is being prepared to limit the country’s arms exports. This comes after it was revealed that the previous government approved deals worth almost 5 billion euros in its last few days in office.
Tighter gun export laws for Germany
The new German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, has announced that new laws designed to restrict Germany’s arms exports are being considered. "As a coalition, we have made it clear that we are reviewing the arms export policy of the past few years," Baerbock told reporters on Sunday. "We are working on an arms export control law that will make clearer the criteria by which arms exports are approved."
Germany’s previous government approved the sale of three warships and 16 air defence systems manufactured by ThyssenKrupp Marine System and Diehl Defence to Egypt in the last nine days of its administration. The outgoing government also signed off on a deal with Singapore for a military submarine during this time. The Federal Economics Ministry revealed on Saturday that these deals totalled just under 5 billion euros, following a request from The Left party.
CDU accuses other parties of crocodile tears
CDU Foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter has defended the export deals struck by Angela Merkel’s government in its final few days, insisting they were made “within the valid legal framework.” He told reporters that criticism from leftist parties was “nothing more than crocodile tears.”
The new “traffic-light” coalition, consisting of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, included stipulations for tightening Germany’s arms exports to third countries outside the EU and NATO in its coalition agreement – this includes Egypt, one of Germany’s main export destinations.
Kiesewetter has warned that, despite the new government’s promises, it is vital for Germany to protect its security interests. "It is in Germany's interest if Middle East countries continue to be supported in their armaments policy by EU states. It cannot be in our interest if, in future, these states obtain their supplies from China or Russia," he said.
German weapons exports hit new record
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ranks Germany as one of the world’s biggest arms exporters, alongside the US, Russia, China and France. In 2021, Germany exported a record 9,04 billion euros worth of arms, comfortably exceeding the previous record of 8,02 billion euros set in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Between 2016 and 2020, Germany was responsible for 5,5 percent of total global arms exports.