Political agreement on new rules criminalising violation of EU sanctions

The European Commission (EC) said on December 12 that it welcomes the provisional political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the EC’s December 2022 proposal to harmonise criminal offences and penalties for the violation of EU restrictive measures.

“While the Russian aggression against Ukraine is ongoing, it is paramount that EU restrictive measures are fully implemented and the violation of those measures is punished,” the EC said.

Once adopted, the new rules will harmonise the relevant criminal offences related to violation of sanctions and penalties for those offences across the EU and make it easier to investigate and prosecute such violations in all member states in the same way, the statement said.

They will also establish the same level of penalties in all EU member states, closing existing legal loopholes and increasing the deterrent effect of violating EU sanctions in the first place, it said.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will now have to formally adopt the political agreement.

Once formally adopted, the directive will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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