The European Parliament Policy Department for External Relations recently published a briefing for its members on Extraterritorial sanctions on trade and investments and European responses.
Recent US measures directed against Iran, Cuba and Russia (North Stream 2) have become indirectly a critical challenge for the European Union as well. As they purport to deter economic actors under EU jurisdiction from engaging with target countries, they have an important extraterritorial dimension, which affects EU business and individuals and ultimately the sovereignty of the EU and its Member States.
A review of the existing sanction regimes and of the geopolitical context reveals that other international players and China in particular may follow suit in using such measures. The study shows that extraterritorial sanctions have important economic implications, particularly for the EU and its vulnerabilities.
Extraterritorial sanctions also raise critical questions as to their legality under general international law, WTO law and other specific international rules. The EU is especially affected by these measures and has taken some measures already in response. These could be improved and additional measures could be taken, as the policy recommendations set out.
Drawing on the findings of the report, a number of options are identified including:
• Addressing the lack of legality of US sanctions
• Protection against effects of US sanctions
• Promotion of independence and resilience
The recommendations vary in terms of effectiveness, the kind of effectiveness, time perspective and political cost. Action relating to the recommendations can largely be taken in parallel or in sequence.
The full report is available : https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/653618/EXPO_STU(2020)653618_EN.pdf
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