Focus – The EU's Sanctions Policy (September 2014)
Overview of the latest EU official documents, publications of the Consortium and publications from the network regarding the European Union's sanctions policy against proliferation
“Within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the European Union applies restrictive measures in pursuit of the specific CFSP objectives set out in the Treaty on European Union.
Sanctions or restrictive measures (the two terms are used interchangeably) have been frequently imposed by the EU in recent years, either on an autonomous EU basis or implementing binding Resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations. Sanctions are an instrument of a diplomatic or economic nature which seek to bring about a change in activities or policies such as violations of international law or human rights, or policies that do not respect the rule of law or democratic principles.
Restrictive measures imposed by the EU may target governments of third countries, or non-state entities and individuals (such as terrorist groups and terrorists). They may comprise arms embargoes, other specific or general trade restrictions (import and export bans), financial restrictions, restrictions on admission (visa or travel bans), or other measures, as appropriate.”
Sanctions or restrictive measures within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
“The launch from DPRK earlier today is another step in a long-running attempt by the DPRK to acquire ballistic missile technology and is thus a clear violation of the DPRK’s international obligations, in particular under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874. I urge the DPRK to comply, without delay, fully and unconditionally with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, its IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement under the NPT, and its commitments towards denuclearisation under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. The EU will consider an appropriate response, in close consultation with key partners, and in line with UNSC deliberations, including possible additional restrictive measures.”
Catherine Ashton, 12 December 2012
EU general documents
EU decisions concerning the Iranian proliferation crisis
- Common Position 2007/140/CFSP, 27 February 2007, adopted in support of the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 (23.12.06). It provides for an embargo on materials, goods, and equipment that could contribute to Iranian nuclear and ballistic activities. It also confirms for all member States the travel ban and asset freeze measures against a certain number of Iranian officials and entities.
- Common Position 2007/246/CFSP, 23 April 2007, modifies the previous position to take account of the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1747 (24.03.07). The scope of export restrictions was expanded to include all kinds of military material.
- Common Position 2008/652/CFSP, 7August 2008, modifies Common Position 2007/140/CFSP to take account of the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1803 (03.03.08). It expands the list of Iranian officials and entities subject to restrictions. Member States are called to be vigilant with regard to certain types of financial transactions between institutions under their jurisdiction and a list of Iranian entities.
- Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP, 26 July 2010, abrogates Common Position 2007/140/CFSP to take account of the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1929 (09.06.10), as well as a series of corresponding measures. In addition to renewing the measures provided for by Common Position 2007/140/CFSP, the principal development involves the introduction of a ban on exports of goods, equipment, and technologies related to the oil and gas sectors (article 4).
- Council Decision 2012/35/CFSP, 23 January 2012, modifies Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP to include a total ban on imports of Iranian oil. Furthermore, it forbids the provision of financial services in this sector, putting significant strain on Iran’s ability to export oil via maritime routes.
- Council Decision 2012/635/CFSP, 16 October 2012, extends the ban to the natural gas sector, introducing the same set of measures.
- Council Decision 2014/480/CFSP, 21 July 2014, amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Iran, suspends the following restrictive measures: import ban on petrochemical products, ban on provision of certain services (related to petrochemical products), prohibition on transport of crude oil, ban on provision of certain services (related to Iranian crude oil), ban on trade in gold and precious metals, ban on 'supply' of certain vessels, temporary amendment of the restrictions on transfers of funds, temporary exception to freezing of funds and economic resources.
EU decisions concerning the DPRK proliferation crisis
- Council Regulation (EC) No 329/2007, 27 March 2007, includes a ban on exports of certain goods and technology, import and purchase of goods and technology, exports of luxury goods, provision of certain services, and the freezing of funds and economic resources.
- Council Decision 2013/183/CFSP, 22 April 2013, provides, inter alia, for an embargo on arms and related materiel, a ban on exports of certain goods and technology, the prohibition of procurement from DPRK of arms, related materiel and other goods and technology, a ban on provision of certain services, a ban on provision of new DPRK banknotes and coins, a ban on trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the Government of DPRK, a ban on exports of luxury goods, a ban on public provided financial support for trade where such support could contribute to DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes, a ban on new commitments for grants, financial assistance and concessional loans to the DPRK, an enhanced monitoring of the activities of EU financial institutions with banks domiciled in DPRK and their subsidiaries, branches and other financial entities outside DPRK, restrictions on establishment of branches and subsidiaries of and cooperation with DPRK banks, restrictions on issuance of and trade in certain bonds, inspection of and prior information requirement on cargoes to and from DPRK, restrictions on access to EU airports for certain flights, a ban on provision of certain services to certain vessels and aircraft, restrictions on admission, the freezing of funds and economic resources
- Council Decision 2014/212/CFSP, 14 April 2014, amends Decision 2013/183/CFSP (both lists of targeted persons, entities and bodies).
Main EU decisions concerning Syria (2012, 2013)
- Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP, 31 May 2013, adopts for a period of 12 months restrictive measures against Syria in the following fields : export and import restrictions with the exception of arms and related material and equipment which might be used for internal repression; restrictions on financing of certain enterprises; restrictions on infrastructure projects; restrictions of financial support for trade; financial sector; transport sector; restrictions on admission; freezing of funds and economic resources.
- Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012, 18 January 2012, provides, inter alia, for an embargo on telecommunications monitoring and interception equipment, a ban on provision of certain services (related to such equipment), an import ban on crude oil and petroleum products, an embargo on key equipment and technology for the oil and natural gas industries, a ban on provision of certain services (to the oil and natural gas industries), a ban on provision of new Syrian banknotes and coins, an embargo on equipment used in the construction of new power plants for electricity production, a ban on provision of certain services (related to the construction of such power plants), a ban on certain investment (in the oil and natural gas industries, in construction of power plants for electricity production), the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies.
Publications of the Consortium
- The Role of the EU in Iran Nuclear Negotiations, EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2014, First Plenary Session, 4 September, 2014, Bussels
- Assessing the European Union's sanctions policy: Iran as a case study, Dina Esfandiary, NP paper No.34, December 2013, 24p.
- Assessing the Efficacy of Sanctions Policy, EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2013, Special Session, 1 October, 2013, Bussels
- Effective Embargo Enforcement: Overflight Denial and Control, Edin Omanovic, NP paper No.26, February 2013, 20p.
- Combating Proliferation Financing: A European Banking Perspective, Indranil Ganguli, Julien Ernoult, NP paper, No.24, December 2012, 22p.
- Syria's Proliferation Challenge and the European Union's Response, Michael Elleman, Dina Esfandiary, Emile Hokayem, NP paper, No. 20, July 2012, 20p.
- North Korean Proliferation Challenges: The Role of the European Union, Mark Fitzpatrick, NP paper No. 18, June 2012, 16p.
Publications from the network
- The EU’s Use of ‘Targeted’ Sanctions: Evaluating effectiveness, Clara Portela, CEPS Working Documents, No.391, March 2014, 50p.
- The challenge of implementing the new sanctions against North Korea , Lawrence Dermody, SIPRI Update, March 2013
- European Efforts to Solve the Conflict over Iran's Nuclear Programme: How Has the European Union Performed? , Oliver Meier, NP paper No.27, February 2013, 22p.
- Proliferation Networks at the Time of Targeted Sanctions, ( in French ), Bruno Gruselle, Elisande Nexon, Note No. 03/13, January 2013, 9p.
- Implementing Sanctions: Prospects and Problems , IISS, Workshop Report, Buenos Aires, 19 - 20 November 2012, 7p.
- Norm competition in the EU's Iran policy, Benjamin Kienzle, UNISCI Discussion Papers, Nº 30, October 2012, 15p.
- Impact of Sanctions and Isolation measures with North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, Iran and Zimbabwe as Case Studies , Clara Portela, European Parliament, Directorate-General for External Policies, Policy Department, May 31, 2012, 37p.
- Sanctions on Iran: Defining and Enabling 'Success', Dina Esfandiary and Mark Fitzpatrick, in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, vol. 53, no. 5, October-November 2011, pp. 143-156
- After Sanctions, Deter and Engage Iran, Andrew Parasiliti, in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, vol. 52, no. 5, October–November 2010, pp. 13–20
- Sanctions and Weapons of Mass Destruction in International Relations , Bernard Sitt, Masahiko Asada, Anthony Aust, Mikael Eriksson, Edward Ifft, Nicholas Kyriakopoulos, Jenifer Mackby, Bernard Massinon, Arend Meerburg, GCSP Geneva Papers, No. 16, July 2010