Ministry of Defence weapons sales to be subject to more stringent parliamentary control
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
The Belgian Ministry of Defence will soon no longer be able to sell its used weapons, tanks or helicopters as easily as it can at present. So De Morgen reported on Wednesday. Before any sale, Parliament will conduct extended checks. This measure is intended to prevent such material landing in the wrong hands, as during the sale of the Agusta helicopters in 2012; these ultimately arrived in South Sudan.
The Belgian army usually resells its old equipment and reinvests the sale proceeds in new equipment. Currently there are insufficient guarantees in place to ensure that this equipment does not reach arms traffickers or illegal regimes. Consequently, Parliament will be able to examine each sale in-depth
A parliamentary majority has prepared a Bill to ensure greater parliamentary control for this type of sale. In practical terms, the Defence Committee will request information from the intelligence services upon the potential customers for each sale of any significance.
In addition, the Ministry of Defence will provide explanations regarding the sale. After an in-depth inquiry, Parliament will give an opinion and the government of the day will take the final decision.