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.
OFAC 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”.
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.
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”.
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.
We reported yesterday that the EU has just renewed its Egypt and Iran sanctions. It has done the same for the Bosnia / Herzegovina regime.
The Decision, published today, renews until 22 March 2015 Decision 2011/173, which imposes restrictive measures (asset freezes on travel bans) on people “whose activities undermine the sovereignty, territorial integrity, constitutional order and international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, seriously threaten the security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina or undermine the Dayton/Paris General Framework Agreement for Peace and the Annexes thereto.”