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Estonian Foreign Ministry develops sanctions information website for European Union


Today is the public launch of the EU Sanctions Map, a web application developed by the Estonian Foreign Ministry as a user-friendly source of up-to-date information on the various sanctions applied in the EU.

In addition to conveying a foreign policy position, sanctions also require companies and individuals in the EU to refrain from certain activities. It is important for the private and public sector organisations throughout the European Union to know what obligations stem from sanctions, making vital the existence of a basic and modern tool for explaining this foreign policy instrument.

“Up to now, it wasn’t possible to find answers in a quick and easy way about sanctions in force in the EU, even though the information is on the Internet. The problem lies in the means of presentation – the information is scattered over hundreds of legal texts, references and links, and retrieving the latest version requires specialised knowledge,” said the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s Juuli Hiio, the originator of the idea and project manager. “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 the consequence member states intended when they agreed to impose sanctions,“ added Hiio.

As the name suggests, the sanctions applied by the EU are shown on a world map. “Users can find the information they need either on the map or on the list of restrictions. Users can also access the guidelines issued for the implementation of the sanctions and other relevant documents,” said Hiio.

Hiio said the EU Sanctions Map is the Estonian Presidency’s digital contribution to bringing more clarity to a foreign policy instrument the EU is using more often. “Sanctions are a part of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which means that they are regulated in all member states in largely the same way. 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,” said Hiio.

At the end of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Estonia will hand over the administration of EU Sanctions Map to the European Commission.

The English-language version of the EU Sanctions Map can be found on the EU Sanctions Map website.