As announced by the President Ursula von der Leyen at the State of the European Union, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security

Policy presented a Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation concerning implementation of restrictive measures (sanctions) against serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide.
The new rules will not replace existing geographic sanctions regimes, some of which already address human rights violations and abuses, for example in Syria, Belarus or Venezuela.
These proposals strongly demonstrate the EU's commitment to support human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of international law around the world. They respond to the political agreement by EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council in December 2019 to move forward with the establishment of such a regime.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “We must stand up for human rights and fundamental freedoms. An EU sanctions regime that holds to account those responsible for abuses and violations of human rights is long overdue. We trust that the Council will demonstrate its determination to support the Commission in this objective by adopting our proposal.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President for a Stronger Europe in the World, said: "Human rights are under attack around the world. The new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime will be a powerful tool to hold accountable those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses around the world. This is an opportunity for Europe not only to stand up for its values but to act.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “We are putting forward a zero tolerance policy against those who abuse and violate human rights around the world. Today's proposals offer broad possibilities to respond to such actions, and show our commitment to defend the values we believe in.”
Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union said: “These proposals are an important step towards a much-needed sanctions regime. By enforcing our human rights sanctions efficiently and effectively, EU countries can make sure that there is no escape for those who create human pain and suffering. As soon as the regime is adopted by the Council, the Commission will firmly support these efforts.”

Katrin Goodman,

Photo by European Parliament, Wikimedia commons.