EU sanctions watch

With the help of their corrupt networks, kleptocrats steal billions from their citizens every year. The European Union has imposed misappropriation sanctions against high level officials and other people suspected of corruption to freeze their assets.

Sanctioned people by country

We are documenting the people under these sanctions and analysing sanctions as a tool against corruption.

How do misappropriation sanctions work?

Following the revolutions in 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt and 2014 in Ukraine, the Council of the European Union imposed misappropriation sanctions on people suspected of corruption from the ousted regimes. These require that any assets relating to people on the list, including houses and bank accounts, are frozen in all EU Member States.

Are misappropriation sanctions effective as a tool against corruption?

Our research shows that the effectiveness of misappropriation sanctions should be questioned.

  • Sanctions have been successful at signalling political support to the new governments of Tunisia, Egypt and Ukraine.
  • Very few stolen assets have been returned back to these countries and some individuals have already been delisted.
  • Sanctions for possible corruption have only been applied in these three cases, and criteria for listing are unclear.

Why should the private sector care about misappropriation sanctions?

As well as assisting the countries of origin, businesses have a role and responsibilities to both report and to act when there is a suspicion that they are dealing with people subject to sanctions.