The European defence market always stayed out of the European community field. In order to integrate it into a European single market where competition is guaranteed, the European commission set out a directive about the intra-Community arms transfers, inviting the member states to harmonize their conditions for transfers, with the perspective of getting a “stronger and more competitive” European defence industry.
First step towards the potential European centralization of arms transfers and export policies, the directive however contains a few loopholes with regard to controls, sanctions, and transparency into the defence products’ trade. By making it possible to take risks and by neglecting the perspective of a single European exportation policy, it opens the way to a new era for the European defence market.
Key words: Directive, European Union, intracommunity transfers, defence products.