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Gregorová: Balkan weapons end up in the hands of terrorists. A new agency could solve the problem

Brussels, 5 February 2021 – MEP Markéta Gregorová organized an international debate on the illegal export of weapons from the Balkan countries. She presented the conclusions of an international study from the Tactics Institute, which reveals illegal stockpiles of war-era weapons and the related corruption network. “With these weapons have been committed the worst terrorist attacks in Europe.”


Pirate MEP Markéta Gregorová organized an online international debate on arms exports within the European Parliament. She presented the conclusions of the Major Report by the Tactics Institute on the so-called captured states, i.e. smaller, economically weaker states whose positions are being abused by larger states and market players – and related corruption networks with illegal weapons from the Balkans. This poses a huge security risk.

We don’t have to go far for an example: for the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe recently, in Paris in 2015, the attackers used weapons previously used by the Yugoslav People’s Army and weapon models made in Albania,” Gregorová warns.

During Friday’s meeting were discussed the possibilities of a solution. “One of the options was, for example, the creation of an agency that will get rid of weapons and compensate states for them, so that they have the motivation to cooperate and break their ties to the black market. A similar process took place after the fall of the Soviet Union in securing the nuclear arsenal,” recalls Gregorová.

An important element should gradually be the planned update of the Defence and Security Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC, which Gregorová is addressing on behalf of the European Parliament.

We have a single market, but not a single regulatory space, and that needs to be rectified. At European level, I have in the past succeeded in pushing for an update of the law restricting the export of dual-use weapons and technology to authoritarian states. As I pointed out, this is not a naive, self-saving solution. But these are honest partial steps, with which we can at least go in the right direction,” adds the MEP.

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