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Document 32021D2309

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/2309 of 22 December 2021 on Union outreach activities in support of the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty


OJ L 461, 27.12.2021, p. 78–92 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force




Official Journal of the European Union

L 461/78


of 22 December 2021

on Union outreach activities in support of the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty


Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Articles 28(1) and 31(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,



The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 2 April 2013 and entered into force on 24 December 2014. All Union Member States are States Parties to the ATT (‘States Parties’).


The ATT aims to establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating legal trade in conventional arms and to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion. Key challenges are its effective implementation by States Parties and its universalisation, bearing in mind that regulating the international arms trade is a global endeavour. To contribute to addressing those challenges, the Council adopted Decision 2013/768/CFSP (1) on 16 December 2013, thereby enlarging the export control-related assistance portfolio of the Union with activities specific to the ATT. That Decision was followed by Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 (2) of 29 May 2017, on Union outreach activities in support of the implementation of the ATT.


Activities carried out under Decisions 2013/768/CFSP and (CFSP) 2017/915 have helped partner countries to cover a wide range of areas relevant to the establishment and development of a national arms transfer control system as required by the ATT. Certain partner countries have been identified as mature and will be phased out from, or not included in, the third project phase. Cooperation has been developed with a number of beneficiary countries that had not previously been addressed under other Union export control-related assistance activities, thereby reflecting the global nature of the ATT. Follow-up with some of those beneficiary countries is advisable to ensure that progress is sustained and to encourage regional outreach by those countries themselves.


In addition to the continuation of activities with those partner countries that are mentioned in the Annex, it is advisable to pursue a demand-driven approach whereby assistance activities could be activated at the request of countries having identified needs with regard to ATT implementation. Such an approach has proven to be successful in providing assistance to countries that have expressed commitment and ownership regarding the ATT through their requests for Union assistance. This Decision therefore retains a specific number of activities that will be available to countries upon request, including countries not yet party to the ATT.


Union assistance provided under Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1464 (3) regarding the promotion of effective arms export controls addresses a number of countries in the close eastern and southern neighbourhoods of the Union. The Union supports the ATT Secretariat in its implementation of the ATT through Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/649 (4). The Union is also a long-standing provider of export control assistance in dual-use goods, supporting the development of legal frameworks and institutional capacities for the establishment and enforcement of effective export controls on dual-use goods.


The Union also supports the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004) which mandates effective transfer controls over weapons of mass destruction-related goods. Controls developed for the implementation of UNSCR 1540 (2004), and under the Union dual-use goods export control assistance programmes, contribute to the overall capacity to effectively implement the ATT since, in many instances, the laws and administrative procedures relating to, and agencies in charge of, dual-use goods export control overlap with those for conventional arms export control. It is thus crucial to ensure close coordination between activities carried out in dual-use goods export control and activities supporting the implementation of the ATT, including activity in support of the ATT Secretariat.


The large number of activities provided for in this Decision justifies using two implementing entities. The German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) has been entrusted by the Council and the Commission with the technical implementation of earlier export control-related projects. BAFA has accordingly developed a large body of knowledge and expertise. Expertise France is in charge of Union P2P dual-use goods related projects. Expertise France’s role in implementing this Decision will help ensure proper coordination with dual-use goods-related projects,


Article 1

1.   For the purpose of supporting the effective implementation and universalisation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the Union shall undertake activities with the following objectives:


reinforcement or development of arms transfer control capacities and expertise for ATT implementation in new and existing beneficiary countries, through instruments such as legal assistance and training of licensing and enforcement officials;


outreach to other countries, including non-States Parties to the ATT, with a view to supporting universalisation of the ATT at national, regional and multilateral levels.

2.   In order to achieve the objectives set out in paragraph 1, the Union shall undertake the following project activities:


engagement with the community of experts: such activities will focus on intensifying cooperation with and among experts from the project pool of experts established under Decisions 2013/768/CFSP and (CFSP) 2017/915, as well as with new experts, especially those from beneficiary and former beneficiary countries in the context of the phasing-out process;


national activities: national activities will be offered to individual beneficiary countries based on a dedicated assistance programme tailored to the specific needs of the beneficiary country concerned;


study visits: study visits provide beneficiary countries with the opportunity to have access to government authorities and officials in other countries that apply the ATT;


short-term targeted assistance on specific questions or issues raised by beneficiary countries;


train-the-trainer approach, consisting of workshops and an online platform;


regional, cross-regional and international activities in response to requests from beneficiary countries that wish to learn from the experience of countries in other parts of the world;


side events in the margins of ATT Conferences of States Parties;


a closing conference to increase awareness and ownership of the ATT among the partner countries, relevant stakeholders such as national parliaments, regional and international organisations, and civil society representatives.

A detailed description of the project activities referred to in this paragraph is set out in the Annex.

Article 2

1.   The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (the ‘High Representative’) shall be responsible for implementing this Decision.

2.   The technical implementation of the project activities referred to in Article 1(2) shall be organised by the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) and Expertise France.

3.   BAFA and Expertise France shall perform their tasks under the responsibility of the High Representative. For that purpose, the High Representative shall enter into the necessary arrangements with BAFA and Expertise France.

Article 3

1.   The financial reference amount for the implementation of the project activities referred to in Article 1(2) shall be EUR 3 499 892,39. The total estimated budget of the overall project shall be EUR 3 824 892,39. The part of that estimated budget not covered by the reference amount shall be provided through co-financing by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

2.   The expenditure financed by the reference amount set out in paragraph 1 shall be managed in accordance with the procedures and rules applicable to the Union budget.

3.   The Commission shall supervise the proper management of the expenditure referred to in paragraph 1. For that purpose, it shall conclude the necessary agreements with BAFA and Expertise France. The agreements shall stipulate that BAFA and Expertise France are to ensure the visibility of the Union’s contribution, appropriate to its size.

4.   The Commission shall endeavour to conclude the agreements referred to in paragraph 3 as soon as possible after the entry into force of this Decision. It shall inform the Council of any difficulties in that process and of the date of conclusion of those agreements.

Article 4

1.   The High Representative shall report to the Council on the implementation of this Decision on the basis of regular reports prepared by the implementing entities. The reports shall form the basis for the evaluation carried out by the Council.

2.   The Commission shall provide information on the financial aspects of the implementation of the project activities referred to in Article 1(2).

Article 5

This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption.

It shall expire 36 months after the date of conclusion of the agreements referred to in Article 3(3), or six months after the date of its adoption if those agreements have not been concluded within that period.

Done at Brussels, 22 December 2021.

For the Council

The President


(1)  Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP of 16 December 2013 on EU activities in support of the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, in the framework of the European Security Strategy (OJ L 341, 18.12.2013, p. 56).

(2)  Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 of 29 May 2017 on Union outreach activities in support of the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (OJ L 139, 30.5.2017, p. 38).

(3)  Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1464 of 12 October 2020 on the promotion of effective arms export controls (OJ L 335, 13.10.2020, p. 3).

(4)  Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/649 of 16 April 2021 on Union support for activities of the ATT Secretariat in support of the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (OJ L 133, 20.4.2021, p. 59).



ATT Outreach Project – Third Phase

1.   Background and rationale for Union support

This Decision builds on earlier Council Decisions that support the UN process leading to the Arms Trade Treaty (‘ATT’) and the promotion of its effective implementation and universalisation. The ATT was adopted on 2 April 2013 by the UN General Assembly and entered into force on 24 December 2014.

The declared objective of the ATT is to ‘establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms and prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion’. Its declared purpose is ‘contributing to international and regional peace, security and stability; reducing human suffering and promoting cooperation, transparency and responsible action by States Parties in the international trade in conventional arms, thereby building confidence among States Parties’ (1). The ATT’s objective and purpose are therefore compatible with the Union’s overall ambition with regard to foreign and security policy as enshrined in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union.

Further to the adoption of the ATT in 2013, the main challenges continue to lie in its effective implementation and universalisation.

This Decision provides a comprehensive set of assistance and outreach activities in order to contribute to addressing the challenges of effective implementation and universalisation. It builds upon the results and lessons learnt of the two earlier phases funded by Decision 2013/768/CFSP and Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 and demonstrates the continued and committed support to the ATT by the Union and its Member States.

2.   Overall objectives

The core objective of this Decision is to continue to support a number of States to strengthen their arms transfer control systems for effective implementation of the ATT with a view towards ownership and empowerment, and to continue to promote the universalisation of the ATT. Cooperation will be scaled and adapted to the needs of and progress made in each beneficiary country, taking into account the level of maturity and autonomy of the country’s national arms transfer control system. Other activities will aim at encouraging non-States parties to the ATT to adopt the Treaty and start implementing it at a national level.

Specifically, the Union action will provide:


reinforcement and/or development of arms transfer control capacities and expertise for ATT implementation in new and existing beneficiary countries through instruments such as legal assistance and training of licensing and enforcement officials;


outreach to other countries, including non-States parties to the ATT, with a view to supporting universalisation of the Treaty at national, regional, and multilateral levels.

3.   Description of project activities

3.1.   Assistance for ATT implementation

The objective of the dedicated assistance programmes for ATT implementation is to strengthen the capacities of the beneficiary countries to meet the ATT requirements in a global and sustained manner. Beneficiaries will include some of the countries having received assistance under the previous Council Decisions and listed in this Decision under point, as well as countries requesting assistance after adoption of this Decision. Particular attention will be given to engaging with and providing support to countries that are currently non-States parties to the ATT.

The assistance activities will enable the Union to respond in a flexible and reactive manner and will be designed to meet the evolving individual needs of each beneficiary country as regards the implementation of the ATT. For beneficiary countries that have already benefited from previous EU assistance programmes and made significant progress with regard to ATT implementation, the focus of cooperation will shift away from in-depth technical assistance towards prioritising autonomy and self-reliance (phase-out process) (2). Elements of this process will be included in the various project activities, wherever suitable and feasible.

The activities will address either one beneficiary country individually, or a number of them having similar needs. They will take place according to various formats (in-person, online, hybrid, e-learning) and expertise will be imparted by experts chosen from the pool of experts by BAFA and Expertise France.

3.1.1.   Engaging with the community of experts   Activity objective

The activities will focus on intensifying cooperation with and among experts from the project pool of experts that was established under Council Decisions 2013/768/CFSP and (CFSP) 2017/915, as well as with new experts, especially those from beneficiary and former beneficiary countries within the context of the phasing-out process. They will promote constructive exchanges on the implementation and outcomes of the project, both among the experts in the pool as well as between experts and beneficiary countries, thereby encouraging long-term involvement in the project and mobilising expertise within the larger ATT community. The activities will also contribute to south-south cooperation by involving, where appropriate, experts from close neighbouring countries.

A three-pronged approach will be used to engage with experts consisting of the following:

meetings involving experts from the experts pool to develop common goals and approaches for reaching out to beneficiary countries,

cooperation meetings between experts from the experts pool and focal points from the beneficiary countries to increase the latter’s involvement in the project,

use of the online platform (initially developed under the second phase of the project) and its tools to foster communication among experts, and to support the exchange of information on the ATT and project implementation (activities, experts, etc.).   Activity description

Experts meetings will be convened by the implementing entities, mainly, though not exclusively, targeting experts who were involved in the previous phases of the project and/or who have frequently participated in project activities. The meetings can be held either remotely, in person, or using a hybrid format and will notably aim to:

develop among experts a common understanding of the challenges and responses relating to ATT implementation support; harmonise and streamline key messages to be conveyed during outreach activities,

provide experts with updated information on progress made by the partner countries with regard to ATT implementation and on assistance provided within the project,

develop and/or modify, as appropriate, common approaches to be used in the assistance imparted by the experts so that advice provided by the experts is consistent and adapted to the needs of the beneficiary countries.

The current pool of experts will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis and expanded, as appropriate, to include new experts. Among others, new experts shall be identified in particular from beneficiary countries with advanced systems that are being phased out of technical assistance within this project. As part of this process, these new experts will also be offered training according to the train-the trainer workshops described in Section The increased participation of these (former) partner countries in an expert capacity will further support their transition into knowledge multipliers within the project and their regions.

In addition to the experts meetings, cooperation meetings will be organised that bring together relevant experts from the pool of experts and the beneficiary countries’ focal points, notably those with the potential to become part of the experts’ pool in the future, to discuss cooperation under the project. These meetings will serve to bolster channels of communication with the beneficiary countries and to collect feedback that can be used to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the assistance activities. Furthermore, these meetings will serve as a forum to update the focal points on the newest developments and initiatives related to ATT implementation and arms trade controls that are being discussed, among others, at the EU level and within the regimes. This will help to build the expertise of the prospective beneficiary country experts, and will be especially relevant for those beneficiary countries that are part of the phasing-out process to ensure that they are able to continue to meet current international standards.

The online platform first developed under the previous Decision will also play an important role in strengthening engagement with the experts and building an experts’ community. More specifically, it will give experts the opportunity to:

register, create their profile and detail their areas of expertise for a diversified and efficient mobilisation of the pool for the project’s activities,

access a library of relevant information and documents related to the project and to ATT implementation to ensure that all experts have access to a common body of ATT knowledge,

connect to a forum in which they can share and discuss among each other any issues, questions or experiences they may have had with regard to the ATT and outreach.

3.1.2.   National activities   Activity objective

National activities will be offered to individual beneficiary countries based on a dedicated assistance programme tailored to the specific needs of the beneficiary country. The programme will be agreed upon with the beneficiary country prior to the assistance activities in order to provide predictability to the beneficiary states as to what is planned in terms of assistance and will map the improvements that can be expected in its transfer control capacities. Beneficiaries will include those countries already named in this Decision under point as well as countries requesting assistance after adoption of this Decision.   Activity description

For each beneficiary country receiving individual national assistance, a dedicated assistance programme will be defined prior to the start of cooperation following an initial assessment, considering the current state of the beneficiary country’s ATT implementation measures and achievements. This will be carried out by the implementing entity with the support of relevant experts, if required. The dedicated assistance programme shall detail the main topics to be addressed and the overall goals that are to be achieved within the framework of cooperation.

Activities will be predominantly in the form of workshop and seminars and will be allocated on a flexible and demand-driven basis according to the needs, interests and absorption capacities of the beneficiary countries. The intended timeframe for each activity is two to three days.

Where appropriate, beneficiary countries may request that representatives from other beneficiary countries or third countries be invited to a national activity. Feedback gathered under previous Decisions indicates that partner countries greatly welcome and also benefit from the opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and good practices on a bilateral or sub-regional basis, thereby also fostering a closer cooperation between neighbouring countries.

Under Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915, a number of activities had to be organised in a virtual format due to travel and contact restrictions tied to the outbreak of COVID-19. Though not all activities are well suited for a virtual format, the success of many online activities under the previous Decision suggests that a mix of virtual, in-person and hybrid (where a portion of the participants attends in person, while the remaining participants connect to the event remotely) formats can be effectively used in the current Decision.

A number of countries that have been included in this Decision were also beneficiaries of roadmap-based cooperation under Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 (see point 3.1.3 below). In light of the assistance already received by these countries, the dedicated assistance programme for these long-term beneficiary countries will need to take into account the level of progress made to date and the benefit of continuing activities to the same extent as under the previous Decisions. Where appropriate, the dedicated assistance programme will be adapted to include phase-out measures and a revision of the beneficiary country’s role within the project. This will include, where appropriate, inter alia, moving away from in-depth national assistance and instead redirecting the focus of cooperation towards more advanced issues of arms trade controls, such as emerging technologies and asymmetrical actors, as well as supporting the beneficiary country’s transition into a more active role sharing their experiences and expertise with other countries, notably those within in their regions.   Partner countries

For the initial list of partner countries under this decision, please see the appendix. A number of partner countries that received assistance under Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and/or Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 will continue to receive assistance under this Decision based on a recommendation by the implementing entities. In addition to these and depending on the number of activities that are available, a defined number of new countries will be selected during the new project to engage in cooperation and receive assistance. In this regard, the focus will be on non-States parties to the treaty or on States that have only recently ratified the ATT.

New countries expressing interest to participate in the project, will be asked to prepare a request for assistance to implement the ATT. Their request should be as substantiated as possible, ideally already identifying all specifics of assistance needed. Where relevant, the requesting country should also refer to past or ongoing cooperation with other assistance providers and disclose information on its national ATT implementation strategy.

Based on the degree of substantiation of the request and the criteria set out in Section 4, the High Representative, in liaison with the Council Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports (COARM) and the implementing entity, will decide on the eligibility of the requesting country.

Where the request for assistance is approved, an initial assessment of the needs and priorities of the country seeking assistance will be conducted, for example by using questionnaires and collecting existing information. Based on the results of this assessment, the implementing entity and the beneficiary country will jointly draft the framework for a dedicated assistance programme taking into account any ATT-related assistance provided through the Voluntary Trust Fund of the ATT, the UN Trust Facility supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), the ATT Secretariat, or by other organisations. Where the country seeking assistance has already developed a national implementation strategy for the ATT, the implementing agency will also ensure that the assistance roadmap is consistent with that national implementation strategy.

3.1.3.   Study visits   Activity objective

Study visits provide beneficiary countries with the opportunity to access government authorities and officials in other countries that apply the ATT. Thus, they represent an important complement to national activities in the beneficiary countries by offering these countries a broader frame of reference regarding the practical implementation of the Treaty. Moreover, because of the close interaction between host country representatives and visiting officials, they also carry high training potential, especially for future experts and trainers-to-be. Study visits will therefore be made available to government officials, including those responsible for policy, licensing and enforcement, of each of the beneficiary countries described under point

In addition to study visits to relevant authorities of Member States, a portion of the study visits may be conducted in third countries to promote international and south-south cooperation. Especially the long-term partner countries (i.e. beneficiaries under Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and/or Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915) could be considered as possible hosts for study visits. This approach would be another element of the phasing-out process.   Activity description

Each study visit will last up to three days and is generally intended for a single beneficiary country, however, where deemed appropriate and/or if requested by the countries themselves, several beneficiary countries may be invited to participate in the same study visit.

Given their nature, study visits should be conducted as in-person activities only. They may take place in a Member State or in a third country (third countries need not necessarily be beneficiary countries under this Council Decision). The organisation of the study visit will be ensured by the implementing entity in charge of the partner country benefitting from the study visit.

3.1.4.   Short-term targeted assistance   Activity objective

A share of the assistance commonly requested by beneficiary countries relates to short-term assistance on specific questions or issues raised by them. This type of practical, targeted and hands-on support, which may be offered remotely and/or in person, can be a useful and flexible tool for helping beneficiary countries tackle individual matters outside of workshops and seminars. Examples of actions that can be taken under this form of assistance include reviewing and assessing legal texts and other official documents (e.g., legislative drafts, updates and amendments); advising on individual cases, questions or situations (e.g., related to the issuance of a certain licence or the classification of a specific good), also through on-site direct support; and developing materials to aid the practical implementation of the ATT in the beneficiary country (e.g., guidelines, charts, compendium on selected ATT-related topics).   Activity description

Short-term targeted assistance can be carried out either:


remotely, performed by experts as desk work or by using online tools/options;


on-site, for example in the form of direct and in-person briefings or longer one to two-week assignments carried out by a small group of experts (generally only one or two) providing comprehensive consultation and practical advice to a relevant authority in the beneficiary country; or


a combination of the two (a so-called ‘blended approach’ in which some activities, depending on the topic, are conducted virtually while others are carried out in person).

This form of assistance will be made available to all beneficiary countries. The budget will provide a maximum number of expert days to be allotted to these assistance activities. A portion of the budget will also cover any technical tools and equipment needed to carry out these activities, such as subscription fees for online platforms for sharing documents.

3.1.5.   Train-the-trainer approach   Activity objective

In order to promote ownership of national ATT implementation and to ensure the sustainability of the Union’s assistance measures under this and previous Decisions, it is critical that beneficiary countries develop capabilities and tools to carry on the process of ATT implementation independently of external assistance. To help achieve this, it will be important to offer support to the beneficiary countries to develop national capacities with regard to (a) training their own staff; and (b) building a body of ATT implementation-related information and resources that will support the development of institutional memory (3).

To avoid unnecessary duplications, the implementing entities will, where applicable and appropriate, ensure coordination with other EU-funded actions in this area, including those implemented by the ATT Secretariat.   Activity description

The train-the-trainer approach will consist of two complementary components that will be adapted according to the different levels of progress and maturity within the beneficiary countries’ trade control systems.

One component of this module will be to conduct training workshops for a number of beneficiary countries’ experts in order to effectively enable them at a later stage to train their own colleagues taking into consideration their level of expertise. Newly trained experts will function as multipliers of ATT-related expertise in their own countries, and will help strengthen self-supporting institutional capacities.

The goal of these activities is to provide the future trainers with the didactical and training skills needed to train staff in their own country, while also increasing the beneficiary countries’ capabilities with regard to knowledge management and institutional memory. Where appropriate, partner countries may be encouraged to develop their own “Train the Trainers” programme based on the training approach and materials developed under this and previous phases of the programme. These activities aim therefore to enable the beneficiary countries, notably those identified for phasing out, to become more independent and self-reliant with respect to creating, disseminating and maintaining ATT-related knowledge within relevant government authorities. Because of the hands-on and practical nature of these activities, an in-person format would be most appropriate; however, a blended approach that includes in-person and virtual activities may also be effective.

The second component will be an online platform that will support future trainers in developing their own training materials by housing a collection of material and documents pertinent to ATT implementation as assembled and/or, if needed, developed by the implementing entities and made available to the beneficiary countries. As well, the platform will enable the future trainers to seek out advice from the experts’ community and discuss any potential difficulties they may face in the implementation of their national trainings. The platform will also be used to provide follow-up to activities and archive deliverables produced under this and previous Decisions.

Building on the work done under the previous Decision, the implementing entities will have the option to delegate the development, curation and production of such material to external experts, also chosen from the pool of experts, as appropriate. With a view to strengthening institutional capacity in the relevant authorities of the beneficiary countries, the training activities should also focus on encouraging beneficiary countries to develop and maintain their own collection of information and documentation on ATT implementation.

The project platform will increase the visibility of the programme, facilitate contacts between stakeholders, foster dialogue between implementers and partners, and maintain cooperation in particular with beneficiary countries being phased out of the project. Where possible, materials developed under the project will be rendered accessible and the use of a social-network type of technology will allow active online communication and information exchange between the participants in a familiar environment. The institutions of the Union and Member States will also benefit from this dedicated platform where implementing entities will exchange information on the conduct of activities.

Where possible, the implementing entities will advertise the train-the-trainer workshops and materials and identify future trainers while carrying out assistance activities in beneficiary countries under this Decision (the final decision regarding the designation of future trainers will remain, however, the responsibility of the beneficiary country). Depending on their suitability, these officials may be subsequently registered in the pool of experts and invited to participate as an expert in other activities described in this Decision. This, too, would be an element of the phasing-out process, given the advanced level of progress that has already been made in those countries and the high potential for sharing their knowledge and experiences with other beneficiary countries. At the same time, it will further support the goal of expanding these beneficiary countries’ involvement in the project as regional role models.

3.2.   Support for universalisation

In addition to providing beneficiary countries with technical assistance to support the implementation of the ATT, the present Decision also aims to promote and advance the universalisation of the Treaty, thereby contributing to wider multilateral efforts to prevent diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional arms and promoting more security for all.

To that end, actions undertaken within the framework of this Decision will also focus on establishing cooperation with non-States parties and encouraging accession to the ATT. The associated activities will reinforce the Treaty’s visibility, raising public awareness about the risks and threats posed by diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional arms, while also promoting dialogue between States and non-States parties in order to help build confidence and transparency.

Non-States parties included in the current Decision will therefore be offered support, where appropriate, in the form of technical assistance activities as described under point 3.1, including national activities and short-term targeted assistance. These activities will be organised upon request of the non-States country and organized according to demand and availability in the requesting country.

In addition to this and in order to further encourage universalisation of the Treaty, regional and international activities, as described below, will be organised designed to:

increase awareness about the risks and challenges of diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional arms,

provide a platform for experts and officials from relevant authorities in different countries to exchange on strategic trade issues,

promote objectives of universality, full implementation and enhancement of the ATT.

The activities shall be carried out in close collaboration with the authorities of the respective national governments and, as appropriate, relevant academia, NGOs and/or regional organizations.

3.2.1.   Regional, cross-regional and international activities   Activity objective

The regionally-focused activities will bring together several countries, either from a single region or from different regions (cross-regional and international activities), to share experiences and discuss issues of common concern and interest related to ATT implementation and arms trade controls. Beneficiary countries that have previously received assistance under Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and/or Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 and shown important progress and commitment with respect to ATT implementation will play a particularly important part in such activities as role models for their respective regions. This could encourage ownership of ATT implementation at a regional level and promote south-south cooperation over the longer term.

Cross-regional and international activities have been included in this Decision in response to requests from beneficiary countries that wish to learn from the experience of countries in other parts of the world. In this manner, cross-regional and international activities can help animate and foster a more global exchange of approaches and practices related to the ATT.   Activity description

Regional activities will be organised as two or three-day events and will be allocated by region. The activities should include at least three participating countries. In addition to the beneficiary countries listed under point, it will be important to open these activities, where relevant, to third countries otherwise not included in this Decision, in particular non-States parties. Furthermore, where possible, it is advisable to involve at least one of the more advanced established beneficiary countries (i.e., countries that received assistance under Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and/or Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 as described in point and whose arms trade control system has already reached a certain degree of maturity) to act as a multiplier and/or to invite the participation of experts from these countries as a way to encourage the building of regional expertise and south-south cooperation.

At least one regional activity will take place in each region. The remaining activities will be organised according to demand and availability on the part of the host countries. In-person participation will be the preferred format for such activities as it will ensure the greatest impact; however, online or hybrid formats may also be used depending on the circumstances and preferences of the participants.

In contrast to Council Decision 2013/768/CFSP and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/915, the regional activities will not be limited to single regions but instead also give beneficiary countries from different regions the possibility to attend cross-regional activities. During the implementation of the previous project phases, it became apparent that there is a high demand among partner countries to not only learn from and exchange information within their respective regions but also beyond that.

In order to reach the widest possible audience and promote not only the universalisation of the ATT but also the EU’s efforts towards this goal, BAFA and Expertise France will organise international conferences as a multilateral side-event organised at the UN level, e.g., during the annual session of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee in New York or, if not feasible, at the EU level, preferably in Brussels.

In addition to these activities, the project will also engage all partner countries, ATT stakeholders as well as non-States parties through regular webinars on ATT-related topics. The webinars will be moderated by the implementers, and will serve to mobilise the pool of experts and allow partner countries to share their experiences. Each session will have simultaneous translation, and will be recorded and uploaded on the platform for replay.

The location and scope of the regional and international activities will be jointly agreed between the implementing entities and possible host countries.   Regions

These activities will be open to all regions, based on requests made by the beneficiary countries.

3.2.2.   Side events in the margins of ATT Conferences of States Parties   Activity objective

Annual Conferences of ATT States Parties offer a unique opportunity to reach out to relevant officials and stakeholders in charge of ATT matters. EU-funded side events will notably enable awareness raising about the EU's implementation support activities, facilitate contacts with countries that may subsequently seek assistance, and promote good practices, in particular by beneficiary countries.   Activity description

Three side events will take place over the duration of the programme, i.e. one for every annual Conference of ATT States Parties, and will be jointly organised by the implementing entities. EU funds may notably cover the travel expenses for a defined number of experts or officials from beneficiary countries.

3.2.3.   Closing conference   Activity objective

The objective of the closing conference is to increase awareness and ownership of the ATT among not only the partner countries, but also relevant stakeholders such as national parliaments, regional and international organisations, and civil society representatives that are interested in in the broader impact that the Treaty should have. By convening representatives from many different parts of the world, the conference will furthermore serve as a forum for strengthening the international network and community of actors involved in the Treaty’s implementation and working towards its universalisation.   Activity description

The activity will take the form of a two-day conference to be organised close to the end of the implementation of this Decision and possibly back to back with a COARM meeting. The implementing entities will be jointly in charge of its implementation. This conference will gather relevant representatives of countries beneficiary of activities referred to in 3.1 as well as other stakeholders involved in promoting the Treaty and its objectives.

The conference will facilitate exchanges of experience by the beneficiary countries, provide information on their positions vis-à-vis the ATT and the ATT's ratification and implementation status, and will enable the sharing of relevant information with representatives of national parliaments, regional organisations and civil society.

Participants in the conference should therefore include:

relevant personnel from the beneficiary countries, such as diplomatic, military/defence, technical, and law-enforcement personnel; in particular from authorities responsible for national policies and implementation regarding the ATT,

representatives of national, regional and international organisations involved in the provision of assistance, as well as representatives of countries interested in providing or receiving strategic trade control assistance,

representatives of relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs), think tanks, national parliaments and industry.

The location, format (in-person, remote or hybrid), final number of participants and final list of countries and organisations to be invited will be determined in consultation with COARM, based on a proposal made by the implementing entities.

4.   Beneficiaries of project activities referred to in Section

Besides the beneficiary states already named in this Decision, additional beneficiaries of project activities referred to in Section 3 may be States that request assistance with a view to implementing the ATT and will be selected on the basis of, inter alia, the following criteria:

the degree of political and legal commitment to adhere to the Treaty and the status of implementation of international instruments relevant to arms trade and arms transfer control that are applicable to the country,

the likelihood of a successful outcome of the assistance activities,

the assessment of any possible assistance already received or planned in the area of dual-use and arms transfer control,

the country’s relevance to the global arms trade,

the country’s relevance to the security interests of the Union,

ODA eligibility.

5.   Implementing entities

The workload resulting from activities under this Decision makes it advisable to use two competent implementing entities: BAFA and Expertise France. They will, where appropriate, partner with, and/or delegate to, Member States’ export control agencies, relevant regional and international organisations, think tanks, research institutes and NGOs.

BAFA and Expertise France were responsible for the implementation of Decision (CFSP) 2017/915 as well as of other previous and current EU outreach programmes. Taken together, both implementing entities therefore have the proven experience, qualifications and necessary expertise over the full range of relevant Union export control activities, both in the dual-use and arms export control areas.

6.   Coordination with other relevant assistance activities

The implementing entities shall ensure proper coordination among the various Union instruments, taking advantage, where suitable, of formal coordination mechanisms already established under other EU P2P programmes (such as the COARM coordination mechanism under Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1464), in order to:

ensure a coherent approach of Union outreach activities towards third countries,

avoid overlaps in timing and contents of the activities,

share experiences with regard to project implementation and identify potential synergies among the different assistance projects in the field of export control.

The utmost attention should also be paid by the implementing entities to ATT-relevant activities carried out under the UN programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and its Implementation Support System (PoA-ISS), UNSCR 1540 (2004), the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund and the UNSCAR, as well as bilateral assistance activities. The implementing entities should liaise as appropriate with other assistance providers in order to share information, avoid undue duplication and ensure consistency and complementarity.

The project shall also aim to increase among the beneficiary countries the awareness of Union instruments able to support south-south cooperation in export controls. In this regard, the assistance activities should provide information on and promote available instruments such as the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative and other EU P2P Programmes.

7.   Union visibility and availability of assistance material

Materials and tools produced by the project, including the online platform described under point, will ensure and enhance the visibility of the Union. All such outputs will follow the logo and graphic chart of the Communication and Visibility Manual for European Union External Actions and include the logo ‘EU P2P export control programme’. Union Delegations should be involved in events in third countries to enhance political follow-up and visibility.

The EU P2P web portal ( will also be promoted for the purpose of the ATT-related assistance activities under this Decision. The implementing entities should therefore, in the respective assistance activities they carry out, include information on the web portal and encourage the consultation and use of the portal’s technical resources. They should ensure the visibility of the Union in the promotion of the web portal. Furthermore, activities should be promoted through the EU P2P newsletter.

8.   Impact assessment

The impact of activities provided for by this Decision should be technically assessed upon their completion. Based on information and reports provided by the implementing entities, the impact assessment will be carried out by the High Representative, in cooperation with COARM and, as appropriate, with the Union Delegations in the beneficiary countries, as well as with other relevant stakeholders.

The impact assessment should pay special attention to the number of beneficiary countries that have ratified the ATT and to the development of their arms transfer control capacities. Such assessment of the arms transfer control capacities of the beneficiary countries should, in particular, cover the preparation and issuance of national relevant regulations, the fulfilment of ATT reporting obligations, and the empowerment of a relevant body in charge of arms transfer control.

9.   Reporting

The implementing entities will prepare regular reports, including after the completion of each of the activities. The reports should be submitted to the High Representative no later than six weeks after the completion of relevant activities.


Partner countries will be addressed as follows by the implementing entities:

BAFA Partner Countries (PC) in EU ATT OP III:


Costa Rica*







Expertise France Partner Countries (PC) in EU ATT OP III:


Burkina Faso*




Cote d’Ivoire*



PCs thereof to be considered more mature (ready to start work aiming at phasing-out)


Burkina Faso


Costa Rica









* :

former roadmap countries under EU ATT OP II

‘ :

former ad hoc countries under EU ATT OP II


new partner countries for EU ATT OP III

(1)  Arms Trade Treaty, Art. 1.

(2)  ‘Phasing out’ should be understood as a gradual approach to readjusting the engagement of the country/countries over the course of the implementation of the project. This approach aims at reducing the countries’ reliance on external assistance through institutional strengthening and indigenous capacity development. In the course of this process, cooperation between the EU and the respective countries will be redefined; a shift in the status of the beneficiaries will occur, namely from traditional recipient of technical assistance to multipliers and providers of knowledge and expertise.

(3)  An additional benefit of this activity will be to expand the project’s pool of experts as described under Section 3.1.1.