How are sanctions created? Overview on the example of the European Union
Even if it turns out later in the proceedings that you have behaved correctly, it is in no way reasonable to attract such negative media coverage; as well as experiencing the stress and resource consumption inevitably associated with such procedures. Therefore, it is always wise to prevent problems and look for solutions to mitigate such risks as early as possible, which AS Creditinfo Eesti can always help you with.
However, how are restrictive measures established, who is responsible for the fact that the EU can put someone on its lists at all, and is it inevitable to be on the sanctions lists or is it possible to get out of there somehow? Let’s take a closer look at this process here.
Initiation of sanctions in the European Union
The European Union is an association of independent countries operating on the basis of its founding treaty(s). One of the important principles is that the European Union has a common foreign and security policy, one of the important parts of which is, among other things, the imposition of sanctions in situations where it is desired :
- protect EU values, fundamental interests and security
- keep the peace
- consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law
- prevent conflicts and strengthen international security
We have already covered the nature of sanctions and their relevance in relation to the situation in Ukraine in more detail on the Creditinfo channels beforehand, so we would currently only look at the process of how the idea of sanctioning at the EU level results in a mandatory legal act for all persons operating on the territory of the Community.
The creation of legislation necessary for the implementation of sanctions can be viewed at the EU level in three different aspects :
- Legislation to take over UN sanctions is being created
- Legislation is being created to implement UN sanctions in an expanded form
- Legislation to establish autonomous EU sanctions regimes.
The European Foreign Service (institutionally part of the European Union Commission) is responsible for the implementation of EU sanctions policy , whose responsibility is to prepare drafts for establishing or changing sanctions regimes.
Of course, this is done in close cooperation with the member states, for example it is very important to get input regarding the identifying data of sanctioned persons, which information is often available to national specialists, and including it in the legislation establishing the sanction (or its annex) will help to significantly reduce the number of false positive responses arising from the implementation of the legislation in the future.
Since all member states must give their consent to the imposed sanctions, the draft sanctions move to the institution with the member states’ representation, i.e. the Council of the EU. The next instance is therefore the corresponding working group of the Council of the European Union (RELEX) , where the specialists of the member states cooperate to reach an agreement on the text of the legislation.
If agreement is not reached, the agreement will continue in the working group formed by the permanent representatives of the member states at the EU (COREPER) , from there the draft will go to the General Assembly of the Council of the EU (forum of heads of government), where it will be adopted and the text of the legislation will be agreed upon. For mandatory compliance, the legislation will be in the EU gazette after its publication.
Existing EU autonomous sanctions legislation is reviewed regularly, but no less often than once every 12 months.
Since the EU follows the principles of the rule of law (Rule of Law), it is of course also possible for persons under sanctions to get rid of the status of a sanctioned person through legal processes.
There are two main options for this – to publish a motivated statement of wish to this effect directly to the Council of the EU, which will then process the corresponding application and make a decision regarding whether to leave the sanctions list or to remove it from it, or another, more widely used option, to turn to the General Court of the European Union ( General Court of the European Union).
For example, at this point it is perhaps even appropriate to bring up the most talked about decision of recent times about the victory achieved by Violetta Prigozhin, the mother of the late Yevgeni Prigozhin, regarding her delisting .
AS Creditinfo Eesti has continued to take on the concern of providing the necessary support to market participants in the implementation of international sanctions, and we are ready to help with various issues, both with advice and force. We believe that in this way, in cooperation with our customers, we can best contribute to the achievement of the common foreign and security policy goals of the EU.