The development of sanctions regimes is a complex process involving different actors. All decisions to adopt, amend, lift or renew sanctions are taken by the Council following examination in the relevant Council working groups. EU Member States are responsible for the implementation of all sanctions within their respective jurisdictions.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy contributes through his/her proposals to the development of CFSP. Together with the Council, the HR ensures the unity, consistency and effectiveness of action by the EU in the area of the CFSP.
The European External Action Service (EEAS) assists the HR/VP in fulfilling his/her mandate and has a key role in the preparation, maintenance and review of sanctions, as well as in the communication and outreach activities concerning them in close cooperation with Member States, relevant EU delegations and the European Commission.
In the legislative process in the Council regarding sanctions, the EEAS has a particular role to play. This includes preparing, on behalf of the High Representative proposals for a decision, and jointly with the European Commission proposals for regulations which are subsequently reviewed and adopted by the Council. Decisions are binding on the Member States themselves. Regulations are directly applicable within the European Union and are binding on individuals and entities, including economic operators.
For its part the European Commission presents proposals, jointly with the High Representative for regulations. Once regulations are adopted the Commission works to facilitate their implementation in the EU and addresses questions of interpretation by economic operators.
The European Commission is responsible for ensuring the uniform application of sanctions.