The European Union has developed an interactive tool aimed at providing easy access to updated information on the raft of blacklists and asset freezes it publishes.
Restrictive measures meted out by leading economies are constantly watched globally by governments, regulators and banks, some of which have been hit with heavy penalties for violating sanctions.
However, keeping abreast with the latest details or blacklists can at times prove challenging, especially when the information is inaccessible, out-dated on official websites or simply complex to understand, say experts.
The problem lies in the means of presentation, said Juuli Hiio of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, which designed the web application.
“[Generally], the information is scattered over hundreds of legal texts, references and links, and retrieving the latest version requires specialised knowledge,” she said.
“Companies tend to err on the side of caution and refrain from transactions with third countries even if these are not in fact violations of sanctions. But this is not [a] consequence member states intended when they agreed to impose sanctions.”
With the new sanctions tool, users can access the latest guidelines issued for the implementation of sanctions and other relevant documents.
The EU Sanctions Map is the Estonian Presidency’s digital contribution aimed at futher clarifying a foreign policy instrument that the EU is using more often, she said.
“It would not be reasonable to spend time and resources simultaneously in Tallinn and, say, Lisbon, on shedding light on the complicated framework and answering the same types of questions on a daily basis if the answers are actually just a few clicks away.”
The new sanctions map can be located here.