EU sanctions regime for chemical attacks

On 1 November 2018, the EU External Affairs Sub-Committee considered the Council Decision and Council Regulation concerning restrictive measures against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

The Committee decided to retain the Council Decision and Council Regulation under scrutiny and wrote a letter to the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas, asking him:

  • To what extent will the new sanctions regime overlap or complement the EU’s existing sanctions regime against Syria?
  • What would the application of both regimes mean in practice – would individuals or entities be listed under both regimes?

The Committee agreed to clear this item from scrutiny on 10 January 2019.

Letters from the Minister

Within his letter, the Minister states that:

  • The EU chemical weapons regime is designed to complement the existing Syria sanctions regime and other international architecture relating to the proliferation and use of chemical weapons (such as the Chemical Weapons Convention).
  • It will allow the EU to target the proliferation and use of chemical weapons no matter where in the world the use of chemical weapons occurs. 
  • It is possible to list individuals and entities under both the proposed chemical weapons regime and the Syria sanctions regime, but it would not be automatic. Any decision to add existing Syria listings to the chemical weapons regime would require unanimity from all EU Member States. The listing would also need to meet the (different) listing criteria for the chemical weapons regime. This factor was considered during the development of the sanctions regime, and there is existing precedent for dual listings across EU sanctions regimes.

Letters to the Minister

Related documents

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