Urgent call to the Council of the EU: Human Rights must come first in Dual Use final draft


Ms Christina Decker, Director of Foreign Trade and Payments Controls/Law
Mr Adrian Toschev, Chair of the Working Party on Dual Use Goods

German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Dear Ms. Decker and Mr. Toschev,

We, the undersigned organisations, write to ask you to reconsider the final draft of the EU dual use recast as it currently fails to meet basic human rights standards. More work must be done in trilogue to protect human rights in Europe’s export regulation framework.

Since our first call for export regulation reform almost 10 years ago, the market of digital surveillance technology has grown exponentially and unconstrained. In addition to the widely-acknowledged intrusion and interception spyware tools that are being weaponized by repressive regimes, we have observed the use of intrusive biometric and filtering technologies in unlawful surveillance and repression. These technologies have enabled violations of the rights to privacy, non-discrimination,
peaceful assembly and association, freedom of expression, and more. A large number of these technologies originate from the European Union, making it all the more pressing that the EU fulfills its human rights duties by regulating the export of such items. The common commercial policy must be conducted in the context of the principles and objectives of the Union’s external action (Art. 207 TFEU) which include the respect and promotion of human rights (Art. 21 TEU).