Sharpening EU sanctions policy: Challenges and responses in a geopolitical era

The European Union increasingly uses sanctions in order to respond to breaches of international norms and adverse security developments in its neighbourhood and beyond. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state of EU sanctions and discusses options on how to maintain them as an effective tool.

The study identifies the withdrawal of the UK as one of main architects of the instrument and an increasingly unilateral and unpredictable US sanctions policy as key challenges. In addition, the EU’s machinery for planning, deciding, implementing and enforcing sanctions exposes vulnerabilities in an increasingly geopolitical environment.

The current shifts in international relations constitute an opportunity to clarify the strategic nature of EU sanctions and to fine-tune the sanctions machinery. EU unity and a joint diplomatic approach to international crises are vital for the success of the policy tool. Consequently, the efforts to improve the instrument need to ensure member states’ ownership of EU sanctions policy.

Niklas Helwig

Leading Researcher – European Strategic Autonomy

Juha Jokela

Juha Jokela

Clara Portela

Clara Portela

Visiting Senior Fellow – EUISS

China Economic policy EU’s external relations Europe European Union France Geoeconomics Germany Multilateralism Russia Security and Defence Policy UN United Kingdom United States en FIIA Report

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