Restrictive measures on certain entities and persons were adopted by the Council pursuant to Article 215 TFEU and in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 in order to prevent the funding of the Gaddafi regime held responsible for the violent repression of the Libyan people(1). These measures are temporary in nature and as such can in no way imply the expropriation of the persons and entities that own the funds which are frozen. Furthermore, as regards the possibility of listed persons and entities paying amounts due to European companies, Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No 204/2011 provides for a derogation for prior contracts. This derogation allows the competent authorities of Member States to release frozen funds of listed persons and entities to the extent needed for those entities to be able to make payments due under a contract, agreement or obligation that arose before the date of their designation. This derogation can be used for the benefit of European companies that have outstanding money claims originating from prior contracts with regard to persons or entities that may still be listed.
Following the fall of the regime, the EU has rapidly begun to lift its restrictive measures. On 1 September the EU lifted the freezing of funds and economic resources for 28 Libyan entities including energy companies, banks and port operators. Additional delisting decisions by the EU were adopted on 15 and 22 September.
The EU has immediately transposed UN Security Council Resolution 2009 (2011) which included, among others, the delisting of two UN designated entities active in the oil and gas sector and further possibilities to release frozen funds, notably for humanitarian purposes and to encourage the resumption of economic activity.