Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
The European Union first took restrictive measures against Syria on 9 May 2011 on the basis of Council Decision 2011/273/CFSP. The decision includes a measure subjecting persons that are responsible for the repression against the civilian population in Syria, and persons and entities associated with them, to an asset freeze. Initially, the asset freeze included a small number of high ranking members of the regime. However, in view of the ongoing repression in Syria, others were added to the list of designated persons and entities in the course last year and this year. Mrs Assad has been subject to the asset freeze since 23 March 2012.
The freezing of assets means that a person or entity subject to this measure cannot make payments within the EU, except on the basis of an approval by the competent authority of a Member State and in order to satisfy basic needs. For the implementation of this measure, the nationality of the person or entity involved is irrelevant.
In the area of the asset freeze measure, it is the responsibility of competent authorities of the EU Member States to take the necessary measures for the enforcement of this prohibition.