An easier and faster procedure for joint EU sanctions against human rights abuses, the so-called European Magnitsky Act, was adopted today by the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States.
“We welcome that the EU has, from now on, its own Magnitsky Act, a longstanding call by the EPP Group. It is regrettable, however, that no agreement has been found to include corruption in the list of the punishable violations and that the Member States gave up on the idea to adopt the sanctions by qualified majority”, stressed Sandra Kalniete MEP and Isabel Wiseler-Lima MEP.
“I am convinced that this mechanism will have a deterrent effect. But I regret that the measures will require unanimity among EU countries. Still, I am convinced that this mechanism is a necessary step to combat impunity”, underlined Wiseler-Lima, EPP Group Spokeswoman for Human Rights.
“Those who fight to protect the values of the EU couldn’t wait any longer”, said Kalniete, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group responsible for foreign affairs. “During these trying times, it is paramount that the EU remains a bulwark in its fight to uphold human rights, freedom and democracy. This is why it is essential to have an effective tool to sanction those who breach human rights. And we heard it recently, loudly and clearly, from our Russian and Belarusian friends, only individual, targeted sanctions are the way to go. Only in this way will the EU be able to call perpetrators to account”, she concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States