EP: Corruption Must Lead to Restrictive Measures against Third Countries
3 August 2021
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

In a resolution of 8 July 2021 on the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EUGHRSR, also called the EU Magnitsky Act → eucrim 4/2020, 258), the European Parliament called on the Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to make a legislative proposal in order to include corruption as a punishable offence that can trigger restrictive measures under the EUGHRSR. The resolution stressed that corruption can have a devastating impact on the state of human rights and often undermines the functioning and legitimacy of institutions and the rule of law. The regime that allows the EU to address serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, should also target economic and financial enablers of human rights abusers, MEPs said. If acts of corruption are not included in the revision of the existing regime, MEPs propose drawing on legislation in the UK, the US and Canada which established anti-corruption sanctioning mechanisms in their foreign policy.

In addition to the corruption issue, the resolution includes several proposals on how the legitimacy of the EUGHRSR can be improved, inter alia:

  • Enabling MEPs to propose cases of serious human rights violations;
  • Introducing qualified majority voting in the Council when sanctions are adopted;
  • Swift and coordinated EU response if third countries take retaliatory sanctions.