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Sanctions

It is the policy of the European Union to intervene when necessary to prevent conflict or respond to emerging or actual crises. In certain cases, EU intervention can take the form of restrictive measures or 'sanctions'.

Foreign Affairs Council discussing sanctions against Syria, on 27/05/2013. Photo Credit "The Council of the European Union", 2013.

FPI transposes into EU law sanctions decisions prepared by the European External Action Service and agreed by the Council of the European Union. Such decisions support specific EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) objectives or UN Security Council Resolutions.

The EU’s overarching objectives include:

Instruments and aims

Sanctions may target governments of third countries, or non-state entities and individuals, such as terrorist groups and terrorists. These measures may include:

  • Arms embargoes
  • Trade restrictions, such as import and export bans
  • Financial restrictions
  • Restricting movement, such as visa or travel bans

FPI represents the European Commission in sanctions related discussions with Member States at the Foreign Relations Counsellors Working Group (RELEX Counsellors) and prepares proposals for Regulations on sanctions for adoption by the Council of the European Union.

Once sanctions are adopted, FPI works to facilitate their implementation in the EU and addresses questions of interpretation raised by economic operators.

In addition, FPI also chairs the Committee for the review of listings under Regulation 881/2002 dealing with Al Qaeda (terrorism).

Relationships & links