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ANNEXU.K.+E.U. THE EUROPEAN NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT NON-PROLIFERATION THINK TANKS IN SUPPORT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EU STRATEGY AGAINST PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (EU WMD STRATEGY)

1. Objectives U.K.+E.U.

The objective of this Decision is to implement the policy recommendation, laid down by the Council on 8 December 2008 in a document ‘New lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems’. According to this document, the action of the Union to counter proliferation could benefit from the support provided by a non-governmental non-proliferation network, bringing together foreign policy institutions and research centres specialising in the Union’s strategic areas while building on useful networks which already exist. Such a network could be extended to institutions in third countries with which the Union is conducting specific dialogues in connection with non-proliferation.

This network of independent non-proliferation think tanks would aim to encourage political and security-related dialogue and the long-term discussion of measures to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems within civil societies, and more particularly among experts, researchers and academics. It will constitute a useful stepping stone for non-proliferation action by the Union and the international community.

The work of the network is to be extended to issues related to conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons (SALW), including measures to ensure the continuous implementation of the EU Strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition (EU SALW Strategy). The network will help to develop new facets of the Union’s action to cover both the preventive and reactive dimensions of security issues related to conventional weapons, including the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition, as foreseen by the EU SALW Strategy. Preventing the illegal and unregulated trade of conventional weapons, including SALW, has also been recognised as a priority of the Union in the framework of the Arms Trade Treaty process.

The network could contribute to enhancing awareness of third countries of challenges related to WMD proliferation and conventional weapons, including the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition, and of the need to work in cooperation with the Union and in the context of multilateral fora, in particular the United Nations, in order to prevent, deter, halt and where possible, eliminate proliferation programmes of concern worldwide and the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition.

The Union wishes to support this network as follows:

2. Organisation of the network U.K.+E.U.

The network will be open to all relevant research institutes from the Union and think tanks and be fully respectful of the diversity of opinion within the Union.

The network will facilitate contacts between non-governmental experts, Member States’ representatives and the institutions of the Union. The network will stand ready to engage with non-governmental actors from third countries in line with the EU WMD and SALW Strategies, which are based on the concepts of multilateralism and international cooperation. The network’s mandate will cover non-proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and issues related to conventional weapons, including SALW.

The network will be chaired by the representative of the HR, in accordance with the guidelines defined within the framework of the WMD Monitoring Centre with regard to non-proliferation measures. The participants in relevant preparatory bodies of the Council (CODUN/CONOP/COARM etc.) will be able to consult the network on issues related to non-proliferation and conventional weapons, including SALW, and its representatives may attend the network’s meetings. The network’s meetings may be organised back to back with the working group meetings, if feasible.

The EU Non-Proliferation Consortium based on FRS, HSFK/PRIF, IISS and SIPRI will be entrusted with the management of the project, in close cooperation with the representative of the HR.

The EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, in consultation with the representative of the HR and Member States, will invite participants, specialised in non-proliferation and conventional weapons issues, to a kick-off meeting and an annual conference. Participants must demonstrate their expertise through a series of publications or other research activities in the field of non-proliferation of WMD and conventional weapons issues.

3. Description of the projects U.K.+E.U.

3.1. Project 1: Organisation of a kick-off meeting and an annual conference with a report and/or recommendations U.K.+E.U.

3.1.1. Purpose of the project U.K.+E.U.

The objective of the kick-off meeting is to establish a European network of independent non-proliferation think tanks that are based in the Union. The kick-off meeting, chaired by the representative of the HR, will organise the network’s activities and prepare an annual conference with a view to submitting a report and/or recommendations to the representative of the HR.

The annual, Carnegie-type of non-proliferation conference, with the participation of governmental experts and independent think tanks from the Union and third countries, would discuss and identify further measures to combat the proliferation of WMD and their delivery systems and to address challenges related to conventional weapons, including countering the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition. The annual conference could be divided into thematic blocks and a concluding plenary session, chaired by the representative of the HR.

On the basis of the annual conference, a policy-oriented report will be produced together with a set of action-oriented recommendations to the representative of the HR. The report would be disseminated to the relevant institutions of the Union and the Member States and made available online.

3.1.2. Results of the project U.K.+E.U.
3.1.3. Description of the project U.K.+E.U.

The project provides for the organisation of two kick-off meetings, two annual meetings and the preparation of two reports and/or recommendations:

3.2. Project 2: Creation of an Internet platform U.K.+E.U.

3.2.1. Purpose of the project U.K.+E.U.

The establishment of an Internet website will facilitate intersessional contacts between the network meetings and foster research dialogue among the non-proliferation think tanks. The institutions of the Union and Member States could also benefit from a dedicated website where network participants are free to exchange information, share their ideas and to publish their studies on non-proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery and conventional weapons issues, including SALW. The website could be accompanied by an e-newsletter.

The project will provide an online follow-up to the events and a window for European research. It will contribute to efficient dissemination of research results among the think tank community and to governmental circles. This will lead to better anticipation and knowledge of threats linked to the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery, and conventional weapons, including the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition.

3.2.2. Results of the project U.K.+E.U.
3.2.3. Description of the project U.K.+E.U.

The use of a social network-service type of technology, when feasible and appropriate, could be explored in order to save costs and allow active online communication and information exchange between the network participants in a familiar environment. The EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, in charge of the project, would be responsible for webhosting, webdesign and technical maintenance of the website. The consortium could provide basic training to the representative of the HR and the relevant Council working parties on the website.

4. Duration U.K.+E.U.

The total estimated duration of the implementation of the projects is 36 months.

5. Beneficiaries U.K.+E.U.

5.1. Direct beneficiaries U.K.+E.U.

Proliferation of WMD by both states and terrorists has been identified in the European Security Strategy and in the EU WMD Strategy as potentially the greatest threat to security of the Union. Similarly the EU SALW Strategy recognised that the illicit trade and excessive accumulation of SALW and their ammunition poses a serious threat to international peace and security. The suggested projects serve the purposes of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and contribute to meeting the strategic objectives laid down in the European Security Strategy.

5.2. Indirect beneficiaries U.K.+E.U.

The indirect beneficiaries of the projects are:

(a)

independent think tanks specialised in non-proliferation and conventional weapons issues, including SALW, from the Union and third countries;

(b)

institutions of the Union;

(c)

Member States;

(d)

third countries.

6. Third party participants U.K.+E.U.

The projects will be financed in their entirety by this Decision. Experts from the network may be considered as third party participants. They will work in accordance with their standard rules.

7. Procedural aspects, coordination and the Steering Committee U.K.+E.U.

The Steering Committee will be composed of a representative of the HR and of the implementing entity referred to in paragraph 8. The Steering Committee will review the implementation of the Council Decision regularly, at least once every 6 months, including by the use of electronic means of communication.

8. Implementing entity U.K.+E.U.

Technical implementation of this Council Decision will be entrusted to the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, which will perform its task under the control of the HR. In carrying out its activities, the consortium will cooperate with the HR, the Member States, other State Parties, and international organisations as appropriate.