Proposal for a directive on the violation of Union restrictive measures

Briefing 11-07-2023

The European Union (EU) has established over 40 regimes of sanctions against third countries, entities, and legal and natural persons. These restrictive measures include arms embargoes, import and export bans, freezing of funds and economic resources, and travel bans. Whereas the adoption of EU sanctions is centralised at EU level, their implementation and enforcement lies with the Member States. The significant differences between national systems, particularly in terms of offences and penalties for breaches of EU sanctions, are thought to weaken their efficacy and the EU's credibility. Following the Council's decision to add the violation of EU sanctions to the areas of 'particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension', the European Commission issued, in December 2022, a proposal for a directive to harmonise criminal offences and penalties for such violations. On 9 June, the Council adopted its general approach. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted its report on the proposal on 6 July 2023, along with a decision to enter into trilogue negotiations. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.