Conference on terrorist access to illicit firearms markets in Europe

Tuesday 17 April 2018, Flemish Parliament, Brussels

Registrations are closed.


This event is open to professionals only. Registration is required and dependent upon approval. 


Goal of the conference

At this conference we will present:

  • the insights from an in-depth study into the ways terrorists access the multi-faceted illicit firearms markets across the EU
  • the ways in which policymakers and law enforcement agencies can combat such access.

Project SAFTE is an international research project with a focus on the acquisition of illicit firearms by terrorists in Europe.

The project is coordinated by the Flemish Peace Institute (Belgium), and funded by the European Commission.


9:00 – 9:20         Opening of conference
Jan Peumans (Speaker of the Flemish Parliament)
Tine Destrooper (Flemish Peace Institute)
Fabio Marini (DG Migration & Home Affairs) 

9:20 – 9:45         Overview of Project SAFTE
Tine Destrooper (Flemish Peace Institute)

9:45 – 10:45       Main findings of Project SAFTE
Nils Duquet & Kevin Goris (Flemish Peace Institute)

  • Illicit firearms markets in the EU: characteristics and dynamics
  • Terrorist access to illicit firearms markets in the EU
  • Q&A

10:45 – 11:15     Coffee break

11:15 – 12.45     Break-out sessions: findings from the case studies

In-depth case studies were undertaken as part of Project SAFTE. In break-out groups the researchers will present the findings on (terrorist access to) illicit firearms markets across the EU. 
The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the participants.

Session A (moderator: Nic Marsh, PRIO)

      • Denmark (Lina Grip, Swedish Prison and Probation Service)
      • Belgium (Kevin Goris, Flemish Peace Institute)
      • Croatia (Filip Dragović, Croatian Ministry of the Interior & Robert Mikac, University of Zagreb)

Session B (moderator: Diederik Cops, Flemish Peace Institute)

      • France (Nicolas Florquin, Small Arms Survey)
      • Romania (Roxana Albisteanu, Center for Criminal Justice and Security Studies, & Alexandru Dena)
      • Ukraine (Francesco Buscemi  & Katia Golovko, Scuola Universitaria Superiore Pisa Sant’Anna)

Session C (moderator: Tomas Baum)

      • The Netherlands (Toine Spapens, Tilburg University)
      • United Kingdom (Paul Holtom, Small Arms Survey)
      • Northern Ireland (Paul James & Matt Lewis, Arquebus Solutions)

12:45 – 14:15     Lunch break

14:15 – 16:00     Panel discussion on policy recommendations of Project SAFTE

Panel discussion with experts and representatives from international, EU and national actors involved in the combat against illicit firearms trafficking and terrorist access to illicit firearms market. They will discuss the policy recommendations of Project SAFTE.

These recommendations will be grouped within the domains of

  • improving the intelligence picture
  • upgrading the regulatory and policy framework
  • enhancing operational capacities and cooperation

Each domain will be introduced by Nils Duquet (Flemish Peace Institute)

Moderator: Keith Krause.
The panellists will include: 

  • Roberto Codesal (Head of AP Weapons & Explosives, Europol) 
  • Simonetta Grassi (head of Global Firearms Programme, UNODC)
  • Alain Lapon (Chief Technical Advisor, SEESAC)
  • Fabio Marini (Head of Firearms Unit, DG Migration & Home Affairs)
  • Helen Poole (Professor, University of Northampton)
  • Jose Romero (Driver EMPACT Firearms)
  • Guenther Sablattnig (Adviser to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator)

16:00 – 16:15     Closing remarks  



Flemish Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
Address: IJzerenkruisstraat / Rue de la Croix de Fer 99, 1000 Brussels
At walking distance (12 minutes) from Brussels Central train station.

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