EU Sanctions Turkey – Extract from the press release
On the 11th of November 2019, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union UNANIMOUSLY agreed to put in place a framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey’s unauthorized drilling activities in the East Med. The EU Sanctions on Turkey will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for unauthorized drilling for hydrocarbons in the East Mediterranean sea.
The EU sanctions on Turkey will consist of a travel ban to the EU and asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. The framework makes it possible to place under sanctions:
- Persons or entities responsible for drilling activities related to hydrocarbon exploration and production not authorized by Cyprus within its territorial sea, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or continental shelf. Such drilling activities include, where the EEZ or continental shelf has not been delimited in accordance with International Law activities which may jeopardize or hamper the reaching of such delimitation agreement
- Persons or entities providing financial, technical or material support for the above mentioned drilling activities
- Persons or entities associated with them
The decision is a direct follow-up to the Council conclusions of 14 October 2019, which were endorsed by the European Council on 17-18 October 2019, when the EU reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and invited the Commission and the European External Action Service to submit proposals for a framework for restrictive measures.
Sanctions are one of EU’s tools to promote the objective of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the EU: Peace, Democracy and respect for the rule of law, human rights and international law. They are not punitive but designed to introduce change in policy or activity by the targeted country, entities or individuals.
Certain sanctions, such as arms embargoes and travel banks are implemented directly by member states. Economic measures, for instance asset freezes and export bans require further separate legislation. Such legislation enter into force on the day following it’s publication in the EU Official Journal.
An asset freeze concerns funds and economic resources owned or controlled by targeted individuals or entities. It means that funds, such as cash, cheques, bank deposits, stocks, shares etc., may not be accessed, moved or sold. All other tangible or intangible assets, including real
estate, cannot be sold or rented, either.
An asset freeze also includes a ban on providing resources to the targeted entities and persons. This means that EU citizens and companies must not make payments or supply goods and other assets to them. In effect, business transactions with designated companies and persons cannot legally be carried out.
In certain cases, national competent authorities can permit derogation from the asset freeze under specific exemptions, for instance to cover basic needs (such as foodstuffs, rent, medicines or taxes) or reasonable legal fees.
Visa or travel ban
Persons targeted by a travel ban will be denied entry to the EU at the external borders. If visas are required for entering the EU, they will not be granted to persons subject to such restrictions on admissions.
EU sanctions never oblige a member state to refuse entry to its own nationals. If an EU citizen is subject to a travel ban, his home country must, subject to national legal provisions, admit that person.
In addition, member states may grant exemptions to travel bans when they host an international intergovernmental organisation, a UN conference or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Where do EU sanctions apply?
By their very nature, sanctions are designed to have political effects in third countries. Nevertheless, EU restrictive measures only apply within the jurisdiction of the EU, that is:
- within EU territory, including its airspace;
- to EU nationals, whether or not they are in the EU;
- to companies and organisations incorporated under the law of a member state, whether or not they are in the EU. This also includes branches of EU companies in third countries;
- to any business done in whole or in part within the European Union;
- on board of aircrafts or vessels under the jurisdiction of a member state.
- The EU does not adopt legislation with extra-territorial application in breach of international law.
- EU candidate countries are systematically invited to align themselves with EU restrictive measures.
Insights from the sanctions on Russia for the Crimea Crisis
We wrote about this a wile back when the EU Sanctions on Russia where renewed, get the full story. Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP of 17th of March 2014 was the first restrictive measure applied to Russian entities and individuals associated with the threatening of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
In a publication by the Kyiv Post we can clearly see the effect of sanctions on Iran and possible effect on Russia (publication in 2014) with most of those predictions coming true.
What are the EU Turkey Relationships at the moment?
- Turkey is the EU’s 5th largest trading partner, both in exports and imports. The EU is by far Turkey’s number one import and export partner, as well as source of foreign direct investment (FDI).
- After several years of rapid growth in the EU-Turkey bilateral trade in goods, in 2018 trade showed a mixed picture, in particular due to the Turkish lira depreciation and broader economic difficulties in Turkey.
- EU goods exports to Turkey hence fell by 8.9% to €77.3bn, while imports from Turkey rose by 9.1% to €76.1bn. Overall trade in goods thus amounted to €153.4 billion in 2018.
- EU exports to Turkey are dominated by machinery and transport material, chemical products and manufactured goods.
- Turkey’s exports to the EU are mostly machinery and transport equipment, followed by manufactured goods.
- Turkey’s main export markets are the EU (50%), Iraq, USA, Israel and Russia.
- Imports into Turkey come from the following key markets: the EU (36%), Russia, China, India and Iran.
Author - Photographer
For many years he has worked and devoted his skills and efforts towards building a successful career as a leading executive. From humble beginnings, his aim has always been to yield results; with a keen focus to attention to detail and client satisfaction. His experience has always been varied and not specific, at times he preferred it. With that in mind, he has dealt with CySEC on licensing and ongoing regulation, international private equity and credit fund managers, NASDAQ and NYSE listed companies occasional millionaires as well as self-made millionaires. His passion though is difficult transaction work organizing and deploying people for a common goal. Harris enjoys reading and studying the Cyprus law and sharing that information on this website.