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Weapons of mass destruction: combating proliferation

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Weapons of mass destruction: combating proliferation

EU strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction


EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction of 12 December 2003 (doc. 15708/03 - not published in the Official Journal)


Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) is one of the EU’s greatest security challenges. Here, the EU draws up a strategy to limit, and indeed eliminate, programmes to develop and deliver WMDs in countries around the world.


It is designed to prevent, deter, halt and, if possible, eliminate WMD programmes worldwide. Since its inception in 2003, the basic principles of the strategy have included:

Strengthening international non-proliferation mechanisms and working to improve systems for verifying violations of rules laid down in multilateral treaties.

Promoting a regionally and internationally stable environment, by strengthening programmes to promote disarmament and incorporating the non-proliferation objective in all political, diplomatic and economic EU activities.

Working closely with key partners like the USA, Russia or NATO and assisting non-EU countries.


The EU Council continuously monitors the strategy, receiving progress reports every 6 months.

The strategy is implemented through projects and activities such as:

EU support for the Hague Code of Conduct, a set of rules against ballistic missiles (Decision 2014/913/CFSP)

EU support for World Health Organization biosafety/security activities (Decision 2013/668/CFSP).

In 2008, the EU adopted New lines for action on WMD proliferation, designed to make the strategy more effective by, for instance, raising awareness in scientific, academic and financial institutions and developing measures to prevent the transfer of knowledge about WMDs to the wrong parties.


EU measures to combat WMD proliferation.

last update 24.09.2015