06 Nov 2014

Improving the Effectiveness of Sanctions: A Checklist for the EU

Anthonius W. de Vries / Clara Portela / Borja Guijarro-Usobiaga

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The increasingly frequent imposition of sanctions by the EU over the past decade has not been accompanied by a thorough pre-assessment and contingency planning stage, which, argue the authors, has led to the formulation of suboptimal sanctions regimes. This paper proposes a practical pre-assessment and contingency planning of sanctions – a checklist, which departs from the ‘ad hoc-ism’ of current decision-making on sanctions. The checklist includes the identification of resources linked to the objectionable policies; the leverage of the EU; the costs to the EU; the legality of the measures; their unintended effects; the expected contribution towards EU goals; their coherence with overall EU external relations; and the communication of these policies.

Anthonius W. de Vries, former Coordinator for Economic and Financial Sanctions European Commission and European External Action Service; Clara Portela, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Singapore Management University; Borja Guijarro-Usobiaga, Graduate Student, London School of Economics.