25th Annual Report on Arms Exports (for 2022) launched: EU is a transparent and responsible trader in arms

The 25th EU Annual Report on Arms Exports was adopted by the Council on 11 December, informing in detail on arms sales authorised by EU Member States in 2022.

The report is prepared by the EEAS, based on data provided by EU Member States.


Over 31 000 licences were issued by Member States for a combined value of over € 176 billion, following similar values in 2021. With that, the EU remains an important exporter of military equipment and technology, sharing about a quarter of global international trade in arms.

Military weapons have an indispensable role in the preservation of security, freedom and peace, provided they are used in accordance with International Law, including Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, and provided they are traded in a responsible manner. The EU’s legal framework, including the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP, EU and UN arms embargoes, together with the Arms Trade Treaty to which all EU Member States are parties, is designed to pursue such goals.

Decisions on issuing export licences for military equipment remain a national competence, following an assessment against the eight criteria of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP. In 2022, Member States denied over 100 licence applications. The most frequent reasons for denying were: risk of diversion; respect for human rights and IHL; preservation of regional peace security and stability; and respect for international obligations and commitments of Member States, in particular sanctions adopted by the UN or the EU. 

Like last year, the report includes information on assistance measures under the European Peace Facility, adopted and implemented in 2022.

The report is available at the Council’s website, and also covers activities undertaken by the EU in the framework of outreach to third countries.

The EEAS included the 2022 data in its searchable online database, which offers various graphic representations and analysis tools to all those interested in further details.


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