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Cronberg on a consistent EU policy on sanctions


Tarja Cronberg's speech in the plenary on Watson report - Parliament's recommendation to the Council on a consistent policy on sanctions

I consider the report to be extremely timely in particular given the restrictive measures recently adopted against Iran. The European Parliament should continuously maintain a high level debate on the very idea of restrictive measures and their effectiveness or ineffectiveness in achieving EU's fundamental objectives of international stability, peace and democracy.

As Green Group's shadow rapporteur for this report I would like to make three important points:

1. The report recommends the Council to develop clear criteria for when the restrictive measures to be applied and objectives for such measures, and guidelines for their periodic evaluation.

I think in the case of Iran's embargo, this is exactly what we would need: evaluation of the embargo's effect and a clear statement of the embargo's objective.

So far we have heard that the restrictive measures against Iran are not an end in themselves but we still lack the benchmarks with which we can trace whether the sanctions can be lifted.

2. The report is very explicit about the prerequisite that the sanctions should not harm the general population (article J of the Report). This is very important because when the sanctions do harm the general population, they create more problems for the EU than before they were adopted.

For example, in the case of Iran, the last thing we want is the enemy image of the EU to be created there similar to such enemy image as the US have in the eyes of Iranian people.

3. The report calls for a coherent policy within the EU borders. Article Z states that the member states should declare the physical and financial assets of the sanctioned regimes if these are held within their borders.

Again, I would like to give an example related to Iran. According to a recent press article, Iran has massive funds deposited in Malta and other EU banks and which are now frozen. We must ensure that there is transparency and all member states equally comply to this policy

I hope these recommendations of the report will help the Council and EU to have a more effective policy regarding restrictive measures.

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