EU sanctions: New whistleblower tool for reporting of possible sanction violations

10 Marzo 2022
On March 4, 2022 the European Commission rolled out a whistleblower tool to facilitate the reporting of possible sanction violations. The tool was announced in January 2021 and is a natural outgrowth of Commission efforts to support effective implementation and enforcement of EU sanctions.

Anyone can access the online whistleblower platform to report past, current, or planned EU sanction violations—and can do so anonymously, if desired—with a guarantee that their identity will be protected.

Officers at the Commission will then examine the report and conduct a preliminary inquiry into the reported sanction violation; if the report is credible, the Commission then will share the anonymized report and any additional information gathered during the internal inquiry with the appropriate national authorities in the relevant Member State(s). The Commission may subsequently provide further assistance to the investigation and periodically follow up on the investigation until it reaches its conclusion.

Additional actions announced by the Commission in order to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of EU sanctions include:

• drawing up a roadmap (including criteria and a timetable) for moving from detection of systematic noncompliance with EU sanctions to action before the Court of Justice of the European Union;
• working with Member States to ensure that national penalties for breaching EU sanctions are effective, proportionate, and dissuasive.

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