European arms exports and sustainable development: inconsistencies and ambiguities in practice

The link between underdevelopment and insecurity is undeniable, these two elements mutually reinforcing each other. This vicious circle can also be fueled by international arms transfers, where economic and geo-strategic considerations too often prevail at the expense of considerations on sustainable development. Yet, the criterion 8 of the EU Common Position on Arms Exports focuses on sustainable development. However, differences of interpretation of this criterion between the 27 did not lead to a harmonization in practice. Significant inconsistencies in the implementation of criterion 8 are frequently observed.