Het Vlaams Vredesinstituut is een onafhankelijk
instituut voor vredesonderzoek bij het Vlaams Parlement.

Lezing en debat ‘Legal and illegal arms trade in Belgium’

17:30 - 21:00

Vlaams Parlement

11 December 2018, Flemish Parliament – Lecture at 18h00 & debate at 20h00

The Flemish Peace Institute – in collaboration with Vrije Universiteit Brussel – has the pleasure to invite you to a lecture on (il)legal arms trade in Belgium by Nils Duquet, followed by the debate ‘Crime-Terror Nexus in Europe’. The lecture and debate take place in the context of Reason and Engage (Redelijk Eigenzinnig, VUB), an interdisciplinary course for students and a series of lectures and activities open to all.

In his lecture, Nils Duquet will give an overview of the main characteristics of Belgian arms trade and the legal framework for arms export control. In the second part of the lecture he will describe the dynamics of the illicit gun markets in Belgium and the different ways in which criminals and terrorist access these markets. He will end his lecture by highlighting the important policy challenges Belgium and other European countries face in dealing with these issues.

The recent terrorist attacks in Europe have significantly increased political attention for illegal arms trade and Belgium has often been labelled as a hot spot for such trade. Due to these terrorist attacks the debated concept of a crime-terror nexus regained much attention in Europe. A crucial aspect of this new crime-terror nexus is the use of previously obtained skills by terrorists with criminal pasts, for example easier access to weapons and more experience with law-enforcement operations. How can terrorists use their criminal connections to execute attacks? Do criminals even want to cooperate with terrorists? These questions will be discussed by panellists Rajan Basra (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Kings College London), Letizia Paoli (Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven) and Guy Van Vlierden(journalist, Het Laatste Nieuws).


  • 17:30-18:00 : Registration
  • 18:00 : Welcome
  • 18:10 : Introduction
  • 18:20 : Lecture by Nils Duquet (Flemish Peace Institute)
  • 19:00 – 19:30 : Q&A
  • 19:30-20:00 : Break (sandwiches will be provided) + registration for debate
  • 20:00-21:00 : Debate ‘The Crime-Terror Nexus in Europe’

The lecture and debate will be in English. Entry is free but registration for the lecture as well as for the debate is required. Doors open at 17:30 for registration. Registration for the debate starts at 19:30.

We look forward to welcoming you!

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