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Multilateral interaction in the fight against nuclear and chemical weapons: the European Union and international non-proliferation institutions

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Preventing weapons proliferation

An EU team assessed the EU's performance in defence and security, particularly concerning preventing weapons proliferation. The EU's outcomes exceeded expectations, specifically in nuclear negotiations with Iran and by supporting other countries.

Industrial Technologies

How does international cooperation help prevent the development and spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)? Also, how effective is the EU in terms of such international prevention? The EU-funded EU-NONPROLIF project intended to find out. The team considered the EU in the context of its own non-proliferation policy, and in relation to international non-proliferation efforts. The single-member undertaking, administered through King's College London, ran for two years to August 2014. Project members qualitatively examined numerous relevant primary and secondary sources, including interviews with policymakers. The key findings were presented as a significant journal article, which covered the first 10 years of the 2003 EU WMD strategy and analysed the EU's recent actions. Contrary to generally held beliefs about the EU being an ineffective international security player, the EU has in fact delivered better than expected practical outcomes. These include nuclear negotiations with Iran, strengthening the verification work of international non-proliferation agencies, and supporting similar efforts in partner countries. The paper's conclusions were republished as a policy brief for senior policy-makers. Additional analyses, published in international relations journals, examined several specific cases of EU non-proliferation policies. One forthcoming article illustrates the EU's difficulties dealing with India, because EU Member States could not agree with reference to India. The group conducted a series of knowledge exchange activities that fed into policy efforts, including academic conferences and workshops, special publications and other meetings. EU-NONPROLIF studied EU defence and security, and specifically the EU in terms of international non-proliferation efforts. The conclusions helped to document the EU's achievements.


Weapons proliferation, defence, security, nuclear, weapons of mass destruction

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