In the period 2007-2011, the United States was the largest exporter of major conventional weapons, accounting for 30 per cent of the volume of exports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)*.
“However, in the same period, EU member states’ combined exports from the EU area made up 32 per cent of the volume of global exports of major conventional weapons.”
Six of the top 10 exporters in the period were EU member states: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, according to according to SIPRI’s recent Data on the European Union.
Of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2010 (ranked by arms sales in 2010 and excluding China), 27 had their headquarters in an EU member state and one, EADS, was trans-European, SIPRI reports.
The combined military spending of the EU member states in 2011 was $293 billion in current US dollars, it adds
“Spending by the EU has gradually declined since its post cold-war peak in 2009: $294 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2009, $279 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2010, and $271 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2011.”
*Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
Download the latest SIPRI data on the European Union (PDF).
**Baroness Ashton of Upholland, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy| Photo credit: World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland |Wikimedia Commons