It is noted that the new mechanism would allow the EU to promptly introduce sanctions against certain individuals by freezing their assets and prohibiting enter the European Union territory.
“This is significant because we will be able to add names without a big, sensitive debate. We can try to uphold certain rights rather than just issuing statements,” said one senior EU diplomat involved in the negotiations.
EU diplomats say the new chemical weapons regime could be followed up by a similar mechanism for human rights violations, similar to the United States’ Global Magnitsky Act, which allows Washington to sanction individuals for abuses or corruption.
The EU already has sanctions lists for Syria and Russia, but under the current system individuals must be added to special country lists. These are complex to negotiate and difficult to expand because some EU governments are reluctant to criticize close partners, particularly Moscow.