|On 22 - 23 May 2006 the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Democracy organized an international seminar on Export Control of Dual-Use Items and Arms: Industry Outreach. The seminar was part of the continuing implementation of the Joint Action Plan of Bulgaria and Hungary offering exchange of information, training and assistance to the countries from the Western Balkans.
The seminar was organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and the Center for the Study of Democracy - Sofia, Bulgaria.
The participants came from five neighbouring countries in South-Eastern Europe - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro. There were guests from the countries participating in the Australia Group, Member States of the European Union and following international research institutes and arms control organizations: SIPRI in Stockholm, the Wassenaar Arrangement in Vienna and SEESAC in Belgrade. Experts from Bulgarian export control agencies and representatives from Bulgarian business circles joined in the event.
The seminar was a part of on-going implementation of the joint initiative of Hungary and Bulgaria within the framework of the regional outreach programme of the Australia Group. This initiative has started two years ago and two similar events took place by now: first one in Budapest last June and second one in Sofia last October.
The International seminar for the countries of the Western Balkans Export control of dual-use items and arms: industry outreach was opened by Ms. Evgenia Koldanova, Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Ambassador Karl Diem from Embassy of Austria, Sofia on behalf of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union and Mr. Gyorgy Balogh, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Budapest.
During the first day of the seminar four sessions were held. The first session was on Export Control Machinery: Focus on Industry/Trade. Bulgarian, Swedish and Austrian representatives shared their experience in this area. The second session was on Interaction with Business on Export Control Issues. Swedish, German and Polish presentations were delivered. The third session was on Export Control Architecture and Policy Issues. The speakers were from Australia, USA and from Wassenaar Arrangement, Vienna. The fourth session was on The EU Code of Conduct on arms Exports: Application & Harmonization Experience with speakers from United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Romania.
The second day of the seminar had two parts. The first one: Making National Export Controls in the Western Balkans Works Effectively: Progress Reports by representatives from Albania, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro. In the second part: Modalities for Automation of Export Licensing Procedures four presentations have been made by representatives from Department of State, USA, Bulgarian Industrial Association, SEESAC, Belgrade and Interexport Management systems Ltd, UK.
During the seminar a huge amount of information on export control of dual-use items and arms has been exchanged. Participants had the opportunity to juxtapose their national legislation, practices, available software in this area. Last but not least as Mr. Radoslav Deyanov, Arms Control and International Security Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria said in his closing remarks that this seminar was very useful both for the participating experts from different work areas and countries, and for the business circles representatives. The personal contact among them is especially important because in practice they help each other in legislation and implementation of export control.
Agenda and presentations