The European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) is an informal network of groups and individuals who see the arms trade as a threat to peace, security and development, and the arms industry as a driving force behind increasing arms trade.
The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security, and damages economic development. Large scale military procurement and arms exports reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems. Although European governments claim not to export arms to countries at war or those violating human rights, European arms are sold all over the world with very few restrictions. European weapons are often exported to dictatorships or to countries at war. European weapons were used against civilian populations in the Middle East and North Africa during the uprisings from 2011. They turn up in civil wars all around the world.
The arms industry works internationally, but arms export policy remains an issue for national governments. Some countries have more restrictive policies than others. All countries in Europe have national licensing systems for the export of military and dual use goods. For EU countries this policy has to be in line with the EU Common Position on arms export controls. Several non-EU countries, such as Norway, also follow this policy.
Arms companies aggressively promote sales at arms fairs all over the world to attract new customers to their deadly products. Many governments have special arms promotion agencies to support their industries. Arms trade has as much to do with profit and trade as with foreign policy and military strategy. Arms trade is often connected to corruption and bribes.
Through research, publication, lobbying and public campaigning ENAAT groups are working to limit or end the international arms trade. Participants have their own national research and campaigns and work together on ad hoc basis. In annual meetings at changing locations in Europe ENAAT discusses arms export policies, action strategies and new developments in the military industry.
Activities of ENAAT groups and individuals vary from campaigning against the financing of arms exports by governments, banks and pension funds to lobbying for stricter export control rules or research into specific military companies. The ENAAT programme officer in Brussels follows development on the EU level, including plans to direct European funds to arms industry research.
ENAAT is not a membership organization and there is no central secretariat. All participants have their own expertise and strategy which suit their national circumstances. The network was founded in 1984 at an international conference on arms production and military exports in the Netherlands. The network ran several common campaigns, such as Stop Arming Indonesia and a campaign against the use of Export Credits for military goods. At present, ENAAT runs the NoEUmoney4arms campaign.
ENAAT also exercised common research and organized several conferences,workshops and seminars.
Groups and individuals which want to participate in ENAAT can contact the ENAAT EU Programme Officer to ask for information.