Third countries align with EU’s Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bosnia sanctions

EU2On 19 March 2018, the EU adopted, firstly, Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/421, which added 4 people to its Syria sanctions list (previous blog), and, secondly, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/459, which extended for 1 year its Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions (previous blog). In relation to the Syria Decision, the EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia have aligned themselves with that measure. In relation to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Decision, the EU has announced that Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Georgia have aligned themselves with that measure.

On 21 March 2018, the EU adopted, firstly, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/476, which extended for 6 months its Libya sanctions against 3 people (previous blog), and, secondly, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/466, which extended for 1 year its Egypt sanctions and removed 6 people from that list (previous blog). The EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia have aligned themselves with both of those Decisions. EU press releases here and here.

EU lifts travel bans imposed over Mostar attack (10 Feb. 1997)

EU3.jpgThe EU has adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/458, which repeals Common Position 97/193/CFSP. That Common Position imposed EU-wide travel bans on 3 individuals – Ivan Hrkac, Zeljko Planinic, and Bozo Peric – who were identified as “persons having perpetrated violent acts during the incidents in Mostar on 10 February 1997”.

EU renews Bosnia & Herzegovina sanctions

EU1.jpgThe EU has renewed its Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions until 31 March 2019, which imposes asset freezes and travel bans on those deemed to be undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, seriously threatening its security situation, or undermining the Dayton/Paris peace agreement (the EU has yet to sanction any individuals/entities under this regime). See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/459.

EU extends Bosnia & Herzegovina sanctions

The EU Council has extended its sanctions on Bosnia & Herzegovina for 1 year, until 31 March 2018.  The sanctions impose an asset freeze and travel ban on people and entities, and those associated with them, deemed to be undermining the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Bosnia, seriously threatening its security situation, or undermining the Dayton/Paris peace agreement.

See Council Decision 2017/607 amending Council Decision 2011/173/CFSP.

OFAC designates President of Republika Srpska

shutterstock_488950675OFAC has designated President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik, one of the two entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina, under US sanctions targeting people who obstruct the Dayton Accords.  In the US Treasury’s press release, Dodik is said to have violated the rule of law by defying the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, posing “a significant threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

EU renews Bosnia sanctions

The EU has renewed its sanctions relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina for 1 year until 31 March 2017.  The sanctions impose an asset freeze and travel ban on people and entities, and those associated with them, deemed to be undermining the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Bosnia, seriously threatening its security situation, or undermining the Dayton/Paris peace agreement.

See Decision 2016/477 amending Decision 2011/173/CFSP.

HOUSE OF COMMONS EUROPEAN SCRUTINY COMMITTEE 37TH REPORT

The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has published its 37th Report, in which it considers in detail EU sanctions relating to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine, Russia, Syria and Iran (see previous blogs here and here).

The committee is very critical of the processes followed in relation to the re-listings of a number of people and entities whose listings have previously been annulled by the EU General Court for lack of evidence (in particular the National Iranian Tanker Company and Mr Golparvar on the EU’s Iran sanctions, and 7 people and 6 companies on its Syria sanctions).

The report particularly criticises the UK’s override of parliamentary scrutiny, and the lack of documentary evidence provided to the committee in the scrutiny process in relation to a number of EU sanctions regimes. The Committee criticises “the continuing failure of the European External Action Service” to circulate draft Council Decisions and Regulations in time for them to be reviewed in advance of their approval.  It has asked the Minister to report on progress by the EEAS on this issue after 6 months.

While the Committee acknowledged the importance of overriding scrutiny in the case of “genuine operational requirements”, eg the rapidly developing situation in Ukraine, it criticises the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for failing to brief the Committee on new sanctions measures in a timely fashion eg in the case of sanctions against Zimbabwe there were no pressing operational requirements to justify the override of scrutiny.  It describes the Government’s engagement with Parliament in relation to the Iran re-listings as being characterised by “mistakes, omissions, and unsatisfactory responses”.

EU EXTENDS SANCTIONS IN VIEW OF THE SITUATION IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

On 21 March 2015, the EU Council extended its restrictive measures in view of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina until 31 March 2016.  Under the measures, listed individuals and entities are subject to an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban.

The current EU sanctions against Bosnia and Herzegovina were first introduced in March 2011 to target those who undermine the sovereignty of the country, seriously threaten its security situation, or undermine the Dayton/Paris General Framework Agreement for Peace.

The extension is brought into force by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/487 amending Council Decision 2011/173/CFSP.