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Document 32013D0413(01)

Commission Decision of 11 April 2013 setting up an expert group on measures against illicit trafficking in firearms to safeguard the EU's internal security ( ‘the Firearms Expert Group’ )

OJ C 107, 13.4.2013, p. 4–6 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

No longer in force, Date of end of validity: 11/04/2018



Official Journal of the European Union

C 107/4


of 11 April 2013

setting up an expert group on measures against illicit trafficking in firearms to safeguard the EU's internal security (‘the Firearms Expert Group’)

2013/C 107/05


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,



The European Union’s internal security policies have evolved over recent years. The Lisbon Treaty provisions on internal security enabled the development of an Internal Security Strategy based on promoting concerted action to address common security challenges (1).


The Stockholm Programme — An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens highlighted trafficking in firearms among the threats to the EU’s internal security (2).


In order to ensure that the Commission is able to call upon the expertise of specialists on matters concerning trafficking in firearms, developments in related security threats and the evolving requirements of competent authorities, it is necessary to set up a group of experts in this field, and to define its tasks and its structure.


The group should help to develop and disseminate guidance on best practice in the area of the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms at an operational level, and to review the effectiveness of that guidance.


The group should be composed of experts from the internal security field, including producers of firearms and researchers and any other individuals who in the Commission’s view offer valuable expertise which may assist the Commission with possible drafting legislative proposals and policy initiatives to improve measures against this illicit trafficking in firearms to safeguard the EU's internal security.


Rules on disclosure of information by members of the group should be laid down.


Personal data should be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (3).


It is appropriate to fix a five-year period for the application of this decision. The Commission will in due time consider the advisability of an extension,


Article 1

Subject matter

The group of experts on measures against the illicit trafficking in firearms to safeguard the EU's internal security (‘the group’) is hereby set up.

Article 2


1.   The group shall:


provide a forum for dialogue and for sharing experience on existing and future measures to combat the illicit trafficking in firearms and to share experience and best practice on questions related to illicit firearms trafficking in order to help the Commission to prepare legislative proposals and policy initiatives to improve measures against this crime;


exchange information about changes in technologies relating to firearms and in the legitimate requirements of competent internal security authorities of Member States which are relevant to the application of EU legislation and relevant provision of international conventions related to illicit trafficking;


monitor the evolution of policy on the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms and identify difficulties which have emerged at national or cross-border level in relation to the implementation of the EU legislation and relevant provisions of international conventions from the perspective of competent law enforcement authorities;


identify best practice in matters relating to the fight against trafficking in firearms.

2.   The activities of the group shall be without prejudice to those of the Contact Group of national experts on firearms already established by the Directive 91/477/EEC as amended by the Directive 2008/51/EC which has sole competence to discuss the issues covered by these Directives relating to legal trade in civil firearms.

Article 3


The Commission may consult the group on any matter relating to firearms trafficking relevant to the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

Article 4

Membership — Appointment

1.   The members of the expert group shall be:


Member States’ law enforcement authorities (up to nine members);


Experts from universities, research institutes and non-governmental organisations (up to three members);


Associations of European producers of firearms (up to two members);


The European Police Office (one member).

2.   Member States' authorities and the European Police Office referred to in points (a) and (d) of paragraph 1 shall nominate their representatives. Members referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1 will be appointed, in their personal capacity, by the Director General of DG Home Affairs following an open call for applications to become a member of the expert group. Members referred to in point (c) of paragraph 1 will be appointed by the Director General of DG Home Affairs following an open call for applications. Members of the expert group are appointed for five years. They shall remain in office until they are replaced or their term of office ends. Their term of office may be renewed.

Concerning members referred to in points (b) and (c) of paragraph 1, provision may be made for the same number of alternates as members to be appointed. Alternates shall be appointed in accordance with the same conditions as members; alternates automatically replace any members who are absent or indisposed. If both a Member and his/her alternate are absent or indisposed, Members may, with the agreement of the Chair of the group, nominate experts to represent them at meetings.

3.   Members who are no longer capable of contributing effectively to the expert group’s deliberations, who resign or who do not comply with the conditions set out in Article 339 of the Treaty may be replaced for the remainder of their term of office.

4.   Members appointed in a personal capacity shall act independently and in the public interest.

5.   The names of members shall be published in the Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities (‘the Register’).

6.   Personal data shall be collected, processed and published in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

Article 5


1.   The group shall be chaired by a representative of the Commission.

2.   In agreement with the Commission services, the group may set up sub-groups to examine specific questions on the basis of terms of reference defined by the group. Such sub-groups shall be disbanded as soon as their mandate is fulfilled.

The Commission's representative may invite experts from outside the group, including representatives of the European External Action Service, with specific competence in a subject on the agenda to participate in the work of the group or sub-group on an ad hoc basis.

3.   Members of the group and their representatives, as well as invited experts and observers, shall comply with the obligations of professional secrecy laid down by the Treaties and their implementing rules, as well as with the Commission’s rules on security regarding the protection of EU classified information, laid down in the Annex to Commission Decision 2001/844/EC (4). Should they fail to respect these obligations, the Commission may take all appropriate measures.

4.   The meetings of the group and sub-groups shall be held on Commission premises. The Commission shall provide secretarial services. Other Commission officials with an interest in the proceedings may attend meetings of the group and its sub-groups.

5.   The group shall adopt rules of procedure on the basis of the standard rules of procedure adopted by the Commission.

The Chair of the group shall keep the European External Action Service (EEAS) informed on the work of the group.

6.   The Commission will make available all relevant documents (such as agendas, minutes and participants’ submissions), either in the Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities or via a link from the Register to a dedicated website where the information can be found. Exceptions to systematic publication should be foreseen where disclosure of a document would undermine the protection of a public or private interest as defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.

Article 6

Meeting expenses

1.   Participants in the group shall not be remunerated for the services they render.

2.   Travel and subsistence expenses incurred by participants in the activities of the group shall be reimbursed by the Commission in accordance with the provisions in force within the Commission.

3.   Such expenses shall be reimbursed within the limits of the available appropriations allocated under the annual procedure for the allocation of resources.

Article 7


This Decision shall apply until five years after adoption.

Done at Brussels, 11 April 2013.

For the Commission


Member of the Commission

(1)  OJ C 115, 9.5.2008.

(2)  OJ C 115, 4.5.2010.

(3)  OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 317, 3.12.2001, p. 1.