To improve the transparency around the arms trade, European countries have committed to publish their export figures and the name of the recipient countries. France appears to be the first European exporter and the first recipient of the weapons produced by its EU partners. The Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP) issued in December 2012, a short summary about the main highlights of the year 2011.
The cumulative sum of arms exports by countries of the European Union reached 38 billion euros in 2011 (against 31 in 2010 and 40 in 2009). Descending France was the largest exporter by value (with nearly 10 billion revenue in exports) followed by the United Kingdom (EUR 7 billion) followed by Germany (5 billion euros). Weapons are exported to nearly 40% within the European Union, more than 20% to the Middle East, 10% in North America and 9% to South Asia. France is the first buyer of European equipment with 4 billion of expenditure (11.3% of exports of the Member States), followedby Saudi Arabia (11.2%) and USA (8.5 %).