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An EU human rights sanctions regime?

02-04-2019

The EU already has multiple sanctions in place targeting individuals responsible for gross human rights abuses in specific countries. There are growing calls for a more global approach targeting violations from all over the world, following the example of the US 2016 Global Magnitsky Act. In December 2018, the Dutch government floated the idea, but it is not yet clear whether it has a good chance of being adopted at EU level.

The EU already has multiple sanctions in place targeting individuals responsible for gross human rights abuses in specific countries. There are growing calls for a more global approach targeting violations from all over the world, following the example of the US 2016 Global Magnitsky Act. In December 2018, the Dutch government floated the idea, but it is not yet clear whether it has a good chance of being adopted at EU level.

EU-Belarus people-to-people contacts

25-03-2019

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared its support towards the Belarusian people at large. The crisis in Ukraine slowly rekindled EU-Belarus relations, but the backbone of cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared its support towards the Belarusian people at large. The crisis in Ukraine slowly rekindled EU-Belarus relations, but the backbone of cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

Russia-Ukraine conflict flares up in the Azov Sea

29-11-2018

Russia's attacks on and seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean peninsula have reignited looming tensions in the Sea of Azov. This is the most serious confrontation between Ukraine and Russia since 2014, sparking concern over further military escalation ahead of key Ukrainian elections. On 27 November 2018, Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) voted to declare martial law. The EU has condemned Russia's use of force.

Russia's attacks on and seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean peninsula have reignited looming tensions in the Sea of Azov. This is the most serious confrontation between Ukraine and Russia since 2014, sparking concern over further military escalation ahead of key Ukrainian elections. On 27 November 2018, Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) voted to declare martial law. The EU has condemned Russia's use of force.

North Korea: No summit for the moment

24-05-2018

Following fears in 2017 of an escalation of the North Korean crisis, an unexpected detente has come in early 2018. North Korean athletes took part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and Pyongyang undertook a charm offensive followed by a successful historic inter-Korean summit in late April, which may prompt long-awaited peace talks. A summit between US President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong un had been scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but Trump called it off on 24 May. The main ...

Following fears in 2017 of an escalation of the North Korean crisis, an unexpected detente has come in early 2018. North Korean athletes took part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and Pyongyang undertook a charm offensive followed by a successful historic inter-Korean summit in late April, which may prompt long-awaited peace talks. A summit between US President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong un had been scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but Trump called it off on 24 May. The main issue is the extent to which Pyongyang's leadership is ready to agree on denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula.

Energy as a tool of foreign policy of authoritarian states, in particular Russia

27-04-2018

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘ ...

Russia and other energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy exports for economic gains but also as a tool of foreign policy leverage. This study looks at the ways and methods these states have used to exert political pressure through their energy supplies, and what it means for the European Union. Most energy-rich authoritarian states use their energy wealth to ensure regime survival. But, more than others, Russia uses its energy wealth as well to protect and promote its interests in its ‘near abroad’ and to make its geopolitical influence felt further afield, including in Europe. It uses gas supplies to punish and to reward, affecting both transit states and end-consumers. This study explores how supply disruptions, price discounts or hikes, and alternative transit routes such as Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, are used by Russia to further its foreign policy ambitions, feeding suspicions about its geopolitical motives. The lack of transparency about Russia’s energy policy decisions contributes to this. In response, the EU is building an Energy Union based around the Third Energy Package, a more integrated European market and diversified supplies. By investing in new supplies, such as LNG, and completing a liberalised energy market, the EU will be better able to withstand such energy coercion and develop a more effective EU foreign policy.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Rem Korteweg

Targeted sanctions against individuals on grounds of grave human rights violations – impact, trends and prospects at EU level

26-04-2018

Sanctions are one of the tools utilised to address human rights violations. They are also an increasingly prominent tool in the European Union’s foreign policy. International sanctions policy is part of a global trend towards individualisation: rather than affecting the state as a whole, bans nowadays are targeted at individuals identified as responsible for the abuses. The present study analyses the evolution of targeted sanctions regimes imposed by the EU, as well as by the UN, against individuals ...

Sanctions are one of the tools utilised to address human rights violations. They are also an increasingly prominent tool in the European Union’s foreign policy. International sanctions policy is part of a global trend towards individualisation: rather than affecting the state as a whole, bans nowadays are targeted at individuals identified as responsible for the abuses. The present study analyses the evolution of targeted sanctions regimes imposed by the EU, as well as by the UN, against individuals on grounds of gross human rights violations. It focuses on the most recent developments in international sanctions practice. It provides recommendations on how this tool could be further developed at EU level, making reference to the option of adopting a Global Magnitsky-type legislation allowing for the designation of human rights abusers worldwide.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Clara Portela

EU-Russia trade continuing despite sanctions

14-11-2017

Since 2014, trade between the EU and Russia has slumped due to the difficult context (an economic downturn in Russia, EU sanctions over Ukraine and Russian counter-sanctions, and long-standing trade barriers), but remains substantial. Trade started to recover in early 2017. This publication updates an 'At a glance' note of January 2016, PE 573.931.

Since 2014, trade between the EU and Russia has slumped due to the difficult context (an economic downturn in Russia, EU sanctions over Ukraine and Russian counter-sanctions, and long-standing trade barriers), but remains substantial. Trade started to recover in early 2017. This publication updates an 'At a glance' note of January 2016, PE 573.931.

Russia’s and the EU’s sanctions: economic and trade effects, compliance and the way forward

20-09-2017

This report summarises empirical facts about the economic impact of the EU sanctions against Russia and the Russian countersanctions, both implemented in the summer of 2014. The observed decline in trade volumes between the EU and Russia is not only due to the sanctions, but also other economic factors, such as the downturn of the Russian economy, largely caused by the falling oil price and the ensuing ruble depreciation. Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that European and Russian companies ...

This report summarises empirical facts about the economic impact of the EU sanctions against Russia and the Russian countersanctions, both implemented in the summer of 2014. The observed decline in trade volumes between the EU and Russia is not only due to the sanctions, but also other economic factors, such as the downturn of the Russian economy, largely caused by the falling oil price and the ensuing ruble depreciation. Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that European and Russian companies alike managed to partly divert trade flows to other international markets in response to the deteriorating trade relationships. Overall trade diversion, however, cannot nearly compensate for losses of EU exports to Russia and thus mitigate the economy wide negative impacts. Finally, descriptive evidence and additional information seem to indicate that compliance with the sanctions was partly circumvented right after the implementation of the sanctions in 2014, in particular for agri food goods via countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. Legal trade diversion through countries unaffected by the sanctions has also taken place. It is important to emphasise that this study does not assess the political costs or effectiveness of the sanctions, but merely analyses potential economic costs caused by all sanction measures in place.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Dr Oliver FRITZ, WIFO, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Vienna (Austria) Dr Elisabeth CHRISTEN, WIFO, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Vienna (Austria) Dr. Franz SINABELL, WIFO, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Vienna (Austria) Dr Julian HINZ, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiel (Germany)

The financing of the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

11-09-2017

Threatening both its caliphate project and its sources of funding, the series of military setbacks that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) as suffered for several months have called into question the group’s very existence. That is not to say that its offensive capabilities will be neutered – the organisation will remain able to employ ’low-cost‘ terrorist attacks to target civilians throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America or Asia. In mobilising Member States to fight against terrorism ...

Threatening both its caliphate project and its sources of funding, the series of military setbacks that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) as suffered for several months have called into question the group’s very existence. That is not to say that its offensive capabilities will be neutered – the organisation will remain able to employ ’low-cost‘ terrorist attacks to target civilians throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America or Asia. In mobilising Member States to fight against terrorism, the European Parliament’s role is crucial. Individually, Member States have an important part to play in effectively implementing common decisions. Their varying levels of engagement, as well as the progress they have made in confronting the financing of terrorism and especially IS, should be considered. An annual reporting framework should be put into place to better evaluate the measures taken by both Member States and the Commission in this area.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Agnès LEVALLOIS, Associate researcher, FRS, France; Jean-Claude COUSSERAN, Associate researcher, FRS, France; Cartographical support: Lionel KERRELLO, Owner, Geo4I, France

EU-Belarus people-to-people contacts

25-04-2017

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared all its programmes towards benefiting the Belarusian people at large. EU-Belarus relations did slowly begin to recover in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, but the backbone of EU-Belarus cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared all its programmes towards benefiting the Belarusian people at large. EU-Belarus relations did slowly begin to recover in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, but the backbone of EU-Belarus cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

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