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Updating the Blocking Regulation: The EU's answer to US extraterritorial sanctions

07-06-2018

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions ...

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions to engage in a wide range of economic and commercial activities with Iran. Companies that disregard the US secondary sanctions face major fines and/or criminal charges in the US, or even exclusion from the US market. US sanctions will be reinstated after a 90- or 180-day wind-down period, to allow companies to make the necessary arrangements. Following the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, European companies have entered into important commercial and investment agreements with Iranian counterparts, worth billions of euros. Many of these companies also have important commercial ties with the US. Faced with the prospect of penalties in the US, several EU companies have already announced that they are ending their dealings with Iran, unless a way can be found to exempt or shield them from US secondary sanctions. In response, the Commission adopted a delegated act on 6 June 2018 to update the annex to the 'Blocking Regulation', which was adopted in 1996 to protect EU businesses against the effects of the extraterritorial application of legislation adopted by a third country. The Blocking Regulation forbids EU persons from complying with extraterritorial sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgment based on them. The effectiveness of the regulation as a mechanism to offset US sanctions has been questioned, however its adoption sends an important political message. Parliament now has two months to object to the delegated act, but may signal earlier that it will not do so, thus allowing the measure to come into force earlier than the end of the two-month period.

EU sanctions: A key foreign and security policy instrument

08-05-2018

Sanctions have become an increasingly central element of the EU's common and foreign security policy. At present, the EU has 42 sanctions programmes in place, making it the world's second-most active user of restrictive measures, after the US. Unlike the comprehensive trade embargoes used in the past, the EU has moved towards asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individual persons and companies, aiming to influence foreign governments while avoiding humanitarian costs for the general population ...

Sanctions have become an increasingly central element of the EU's common and foreign security policy. At present, the EU has 42 sanctions programmes in place, making it the world's second-most active user of restrictive measures, after the US. Unlike the comprehensive trade embargoes used in the past, the EU has moved towards asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individual persons and companies, aiming to influence foreign governments while avoiding humanitarian costs for the general population. Other measures in the sanctions toolkit include arms embargoes, sectoral trade and investment restrictions, as well as suspensions of development aid and trade preferences. The declared purpose of EU sanctions is to uphold the international security order as well as defending human rights and democracy standards, by encouraging targeted countries to change their behaviour. Measuring their effectiveness is difficult, as sanctions rarely achieve all their aims, and usually there are other causes to which changes can be attributed. However, even when this primary purpose is not achieved, sanctions may have useful secondary effects, for example by deterring other actors from similar behaviour. The broader the international support for EU sanctions and the closer the relationship between the EU and the targeted country are, the stronger the prospects for success will be. On the other hand, effectiveness can be undermined by inconsistent application of sanctions standards and by the difficulty of coordinating implementation between multiple stakeholders.

Civilian and Military Personnel in CSDP Missions and Operations

16-02-2017

The workshop was organised on January 26, 2017 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim to highlight trends, challenges and recommendations regarding civilian and military personnel deployed in CSDP missions and operations in particular in the areas of force generation, training and the national follow-up on crimes and offences perpetrated during deployment. Annalisa Creta is research fellow of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, specialised ...

The workshop was organised on January 26, 2017 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim to highlight trends, challenges and recommendations regarding civilian and military personnel deployed in CSDP missions and operations in particular in the areas of force generation, training and the national follow-up on crimes and offences perpetrated during deployment. Annalisa Creta is research fellow of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, specialised in civilian crisis management with a particular focus on training issues. Petteri Taitto is affiliated with the Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland as principal scientist. Alberto di Martino is full professor of criminal law at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy.

Autore esterno

Annalisa CRETA, Alberto di MARTINO, Mark NEMEDI (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy) and Petteri TAITTO (Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Vantaa, Finland) The paper has been developed under the overall scientific supervision of Andrea de Guttry (DIRPOLIS Institute, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy)

EYE 2016 – Golden Eye: Who rules tomorrow's Europe?

28-04-2016

The development of digital technologies has made access to and availability of personal data easier for companies, public authorities and citizens. Keeping control over our personal data means keeping control over our life. Personal data collection and processing are regulated by EU law with the aim of striking a balance between rights to privacy and to data protection and other rights or interests (e.g. freedom of expression, public security). This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event ...

The development of digital technologies has made access to and availability of personal data easier for companies, public authorities and citizens. Keeping control over our personal data means keeping control over our life. Personal data collection and processing are regulated by EU law with the aim of striking a balance between rights to privacy and to data protection and other rights or interests (e.g. freedom of expression, public security). This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Surveillance and Censorship: The Impact of Technologies on Human Rights

16-04-2015

As human lives transition online, so do human rights. The main challenge for the European Union and other actors is to transition all human rights to the digital sphere. This report argues that the human rights-based approach can be helpful in focusing discussions about security on individuals rather than states. It provides an overview of countries and companies that pose risks to human rights in the digital sphere. It lists the most relevant international laws and standards, technical standards ...

As human lives transition online, so do human rights. The main challenge for the European Union and other actors is to transition all human rights to the digital sphere. This report argues that the human rights-based approach can be helpful in focusing discussions about security on individuals rather than states. It provides an overview of countries and companies that pose risks to human rights in the digital sphere. It lists the most relevant international laws and standards, technical standards, business guidelines, Internet principles and policy initiatives that have been crucial in transitioning the human rights regime to the digital sphere. It also analyses the impact of recent EU actions related to Internet and human rights issues. It concludes that different elements of EU strategic policy on human rights and digital policy need be better integrated and coordinated to ensure that technologies have a positive impact on human rights. The report concludes that EU should promote digital rights in national legislation of the third countries, but also in its own digital strategies.

Autore esterno

Ben WAGNER, Joanna BRONOWICKA, Cathleen BERGER and Thomas BEHRNDT (Centre for Internet and Human Rights, European University Viadrina, Germany)

L'uso dei droni armati

17-02-2014

I velivoli senza pilota o velivoli telecomandati – comunemente noti come droni – sono destinati a vari usi: civile, commerciale e militare. Le forze armate stanno acquisendo sempre più droni armati, ma il loro uso desta numerose preoccupazioni di carattere etico, politico e giuridico.

I velivoli senza pilota o velivoli telecomandati – comunemente noti come droni – sono destinati a vari usi: civile, commerciale e militare. Le forze armate stanno acquisendo sempre più droni armati, ma il loro uso desta numerose preoccupazioni di carattere etico, politico e giuridico.

The Extraterritorial Effects of Legislation and Policies in the EU and US

16-05-2012

There is a general principle in international law that one state cannot take measures on the territory of another state by means of enforcement of national laws without the consent of the latter. It is possible – however – to observe a recent trend of a growing number of laws that aim to produce a legislative effect in third countries. The nature of the extraterritorial measures at stake and the interests involved have determined the intensity of protests against those measures, by businesses and ...

There is a general principle in international law that one state cannot take measures on the territory of another state by means of enforcement of national laws without the consent of the latter. It is possible – however – to observe a recent trend of a growing number of laws that aim to produce a legislative effect in third countries. The nature of the extraterritorial measures at stake and the interests involved have determined the intensity of protests against those measures, by businesses and legislators. This study explores the legal principles that sit behind extraterritoriality, and how such measures have come to be justified. It also examines how those enacting extraterritorial laws have sought to use mostly economic and diplomatic levers to seek compliance from third countries and entities registered in third countries. Finally, this study explores the impact extraterritoriality has had on the businesses and governments affected by it and outlines the defensive measures that can be taken to protect against the reach of such laws.

Autore esterno

DOVER Robert (Dover and Jones Ltd, UK) and FROSINI Justin (Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development, Italy)

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