chapter  4
47 Pages

The efficacy of sanctions imposed under the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Sanctions imposed under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) are the EU’s sanctions par excellence. While the legal documents through which they are imposed refer to them as ‘restrictive measures’ (French: mesures négatives), and the official discourse tends to avoid the term, they are the only measures for which the label ‘sanctions’ is admitted. Prior to the creation of the CFSP under the Treaty of Maastricht, sanctions were normally announced in Presidency Statements or Council Conclusions. However, sanctions regimes adopted by the EU prior to the conclusion of the Maastricht Treaty and that remained in place after 1993 were formalised in CFSP Common Positions. For instance, the arms embargo originally imposed on Sudan in 1994 (Council of the European Union 1994a) was the object of two consecutive Common Positions in 2004 prior to the Darfur crisis. The only purpose of these documents was to consolidate measures related to the sanctions regime in a single instrument, specifying the scope of the embargo and providing for exemptions (Council of the European Union 2004a, Council of the European Union 2004d). The only exception to the rule of reformulation and consolidation of sanctions regimes in a single document is the case of the arms embargo on China, whose informal legal basis was never transformed in a Common Position. Table 4.1 presents an overview of high-profile CFSP sanctions cases.