Foreign Policy Without Unilateral Alternatives?

EU Member State Interests and the Imposition of Economic Sanctions
  • Viktor SzépEmail author


The intergovernmental character of cooperation in EU foreign and security policy often gives the impression that the Member States unilaterally pursuing their particular interests is an accepted form of behaviour. This chapter argues, however, that national governments are in fact seriously constrained by the current legal framework governing EU external action, in particular its regime for imposing economic sanctions on third countries or individuals. In this regard, it has serious implications that EU economic sanctions, despite having foreign and security policy objectives, cannot be separated from the principles underpinning the Common Commercial Policy. This link with an exclusive EU competence clearly sets the boundaries of Member State particularism and lays out the potential limits of deviations from EU law. Under this frame, unilateral Member State actions are only accepted if the strict conditions required by EU law are fulfilled. The aim of this chapter is to explore these conditions and the opportunities provided by them for the Member States to promote their national interests in the field of international economic sanctions.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social SciencesBudapestHungary

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