The excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW) contribute to organized crime. SALW also have a negative impact on the security of many countries, threatening their transitions towards economic, developmental and political stability. The various problems caused by the spread of illicit SALW have led the EU to recognise their destabilizing effect on regional and national security. Therefore, the EU remains committed to the establishment of an international instrument on arms trading.
The EU has taken several initiatives in the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy. They include, for example, a Code of Conduct for exporting conventional weapons, a Common Position on arms brokering and an EU Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW. The purpose of the SALW Strategy is to contribute to an integrated, coherent and visible EU action against the accumulation and spread of such arms and weapons. The political aim is to implement and strengthen the United Nation Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA).