The aftermath of Putin's war against Ukraine has demonstrated that a common European approach is required to ensure EU sanctions against Russian individuals and companies are not circumvented. The current rules on sanctions evasion are a patchwork across the union, where different approaches with differentiating penalties have led to uneven implementation.
By classifying the violation of restrictive measures as an EU crime, we will for the first time ever extend the list of EU-wide crimes and end the impunity for those violating sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Sophie in 't Veld (D66, Netherlands), Coordinator in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, said:
“We have a raging war on our continent. People are dying in Ukraine, and the EU is in the aggressor's sights as well. We cannot afford our response to be undermined from the inside. We have to crack down violations of restrictive measures. By criminalising the act and, equally important, by enforcement through common EU institutions that have the powers and means to act.”
With a new harmonised European approach and common standards of criminal offences and penalties throughout the EU, the violations of restrictive measures can be investigated, prosecuted and punished more efficiently and to the same extent in all Member States.