Challenges and good practices for the effective implementation of the EU sanctions regime

Prague, Czech Republic 16 - 17 January 2023
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© Council of Europe

© Council of Europe

A regional conference on “Effective Implementation of the EU Sanctions Regime – Challenges and Good Practices” was held on 16-17 January 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic.

The event was organised by the Council of Europe’s Economic Crime and Cooperation Division in cooperation with the European Commission (Directorate General for Structural Reform Support - DG REFORM and Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union - DG FISMA) and representatives of the Czech authorities. It gathered representatives of national competent authorities from 19 EU Member States.

Within the framework of the joint Technical Support Instrument (TSI) initiative “Effective and uniform implementation of the sanctions’ regime in EU member states”, the Council of Europe is currently supporting the national competent authorities from the Czech Republic, Latvia and Malta, but also of other EU Member States (MS) with strengthening their capacities to effectively implement the EU restrictive measures towards the Russian Federation, by carrying a series of studies which aim at identifying good practices for the effective and harmonised implementation of the sanctions’ regime across the EU. 

In this regard and in close cooperation with Czech authorities and European Commission’s DG FISMA, the Council of Europe has initiated the development of a comparative study of the existing practices in EU Member States with regard to the identification of persons holding effective control of a company. The analysis was based on the conclusions of the scoping mission that took place in Prague, Czech Republic, in November 2022, discussions with DG FISMA, as well as on a desk review of relevant national laws and regulations, and regional and international directives, standards, and open sources.
The Conference aimed to provide an opportunity to exchange practices and share experience about real cases of identification of persons holding effective control and establishment of firewalls. Moreover, the discussion touched upon identified typologies for circumventing EU sanctions through disinvestment, as well as on current practices for freezing and seizing of assets from companies owned or controlled by persons or entities included in EU sanctions lists.

The event served to further enrich the content of the study “Identification of persons holding effective control of a company, establishing firewalls and preventing the sanctions evasion through disinvestment”. Moreover, its conclusions also informed another comparative analysis on existing practices of EU Member States for freezing and seizing of assets of companies owned or controlled by persons or entities which are subject to EU sanctions.

The activity was organised within the framework of the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) initiative on “Effective and uniform implementation of the sanctions’ regime in EU Member States”, funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Structural Reform Support and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.