Dutch Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, welcomes the German decision to more strictly control the export of dangerous spying technologies to countries which have a bad reputation on human rights. The full list of countries was not made public, but it includes Turkey and Russia. Schaake: "European software and technologies are currently used all over the world to suppress people. On top of that, these technologies can be used against European citizens and digital infrastructure. The European Parliament has repeatedly called on the member states to do something about the legislative vacuum. It finally seems like they are taking it seriously." First step Schaake emphasises that this is just a first step and that more coherence and coordination are needed on the European level. "Fragmentation of the European export controls regime makes it easy for companies to circumvent it. Also, the Member States have an economic interest in increasing export. By enforcing the controls to the European level, we kan increase coherence and remove the conflict of interests." It is expected that the European Commission will come forward with a new legislative proposal after the Summer. Schaake wants it to contain concrete measures to ensure the EU is credible and effective both on human rights and security in the digital era.
Clear criteria Germany will now only control the export of products on the basis of a list of countries, but Schaake wants the entire European Union to control the export of these technologies to all countries using clear criteria on human rights. Schaake: "Not only those countries with the worst track record on human rights need to be included. To be credible, we need a European system with clear criteria that must be adhered to for all destination countries. To do that, we also need clear definitions of which technologies we want to control. It is crucial to avoid controlling harmless technologies and creating unnecessary barriers."