Europe in the World

EU Sanctions: An Assessment


The EU has, since 2004, openly adopted a policy of targeted sanctions, and has been making increased use of restrictive measures in response to events around the world. In doing so, it has toughened and refined its sanctions toolbox, sharpening its targeted sanctions against individuals, such as assets’ freeze and travel bans, as well as the broader embargoes currently in place against the governments of Iran and Syria. It has shown itself to be more open to the possibility of resorting to sanctions outside the United Nations framework, also in coordination with other international actors such as the US.

In this context, the EPC, with the support of the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union, has launched a project on the EU's use of restrictive measures (sanctions). Assessing the impact and effectiveness of the EU’s restrictive measures is especially important for EU member states and institutions as, in recent years, the Union has increasingly relied on the use of restrictive measures in its external action, a trend which has been reinforced by the provision of the Lisbon Treaty and the strengthening of the EU foreign policy institutional machinery.

The first preparatory workshop of the project took place on 5 July 2013 in Brussels. During the meeting, representatives from EU institutions, EU member states, the private sector and other stakeholders and experts discussed the effectiveness of EU sanctions and provided valuable input for the project. A second workshop will take place in October 2013 and the results of these workshops will feed into a final report, to be launched in November 2013, which will aim to assess the impact and effectiveness of the EU’s restrictive measures.

For more details, please contact Paul Ivan, Senior Policy Analyst.

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