The German armaments industry fears significant competitive disadvantages as a result of the export restrictions planned by the new federal government. “Initial statements by members of the new federal government indicate that arms exports to countries outside the EU and NATO will soon be practically out of the question,” says Hans Christoph Atzpodien, General Manager of the Association of the German Security and Defense Industry. the German Press Agency. The resulting gaps would then be closed by other European countries and the chances of German companies to participate in European armaments projects would be reduced.
Atzpodien, whose association represents the interests of the German armaments industry, also expressed skepticism about the arms export control law enshrined in the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. “It will further strengthen national German arms export restrictions,” he said. This would make international arms cooperation even more difficult. Atzpodien called for a European harmonization of arms export controls. This is the only way to make international cooperation concrete, “but not with national solo efforts”.
In recent years, Germany has pursued a more restrictive arms export policy than European allies such as France, Great Britain or Spain. With the planned export law, the new government wants to restrict deliveries to so-called third countries outside the EU and NATO. Last year they accounted for well over half of all exports, and in 2020 it was a good 50 percent.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock: Check previous arms export policy
Shortly before the turn of the year, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) once again emphasized how important an arms export control law is to her. “As a coalition, we have made it clear that we are putting the arms export policy of the past few years to the test,” she said in a dpa interview.
Last year, the old federal government of the Union and the SPD approved arms exports for more than nine billion euros – more than ever before. The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz only gave the green light for more than half of them in the last few days before their replacement, when they were only in office as managers.