With restrictive measures or sanctions, the international community wishes to stop, in a peaceful manner, countries or individuals from being a threat to international peace or security.
What are restrictive measures?
Restrictive measures or sanctions, as they are also called, are measures by which the international community tries to achieve that certain states and/or other entities (persons) presenting a threat to international peace and security change their conduct without the use of force so that their behaviour no longer threatens international peace and security. According to Restrictive Measures Introduced or Implemented by the Republic of Slovenia in Accordance with Legal Acts and Decisions Adopted within the International Organisations Act (in Slovene) (ZOUPAMO), used in Slovenia to systemically regulate this area, restrictive measures mean restrictions and obligations in relations with states, territorial entities, movements, international organisations and persons. Their purpose is to establish or maintain international peace and security, ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, develop or strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and achieve other objectives in accordance with international law and the EU law.
Restrictive measures may be adopted by the UN Security Council, the European Union and individual countries. In accordance with the UN Charter, the Security Council adopts restrictive measures through resolutions that are binding on all UN member states. Besides applying UN sanctions, the EU may also adopt sanctions by means of decisions or regulations that need to be respected in the national legislation of the EU Member States. In accordance with the national act on restrictive measures, Slovenia may also adopt national restrictive measures. These are adopted by Government decrees.
What are the types of restrictive measures?
The most frequently implemented are financial restrictive measures, which include the freezing of funds in accounts or any dealing with funds and economic resources; restrictions on arms import and export are also common, and so-called travel restrictions, for instance a ban on the entry of specific persons into a country and their transit through its territory. In the past, it was more common to impose general sanctions against countries. In recent years, targeted sanctions against individuals are more widespread because they are seen as a more effective way to achieve the objectives pursued.
Who is subject to restrictive measures?
Restrictive measures may be imposed against countries, international organisations, other entities, and legal and natural persons (i.e. companies, heads of state, high officials and others). Who is subject to sanctions is specified in lists contained in the relevant legal acts imposing sanctions.
In Slovenia, restrictive measures are governed by the ZOUPAMO, conferring on the Government of the Republic of Slovenia the authority to impose and implement sanctions by issuing a decree which sets out the necessary provisions for their implementation.
A Permanent Coordination Group (SKSOU) headed by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ensures more uniform implementation of restrictive measures and coordination between relevant bodies. This Group may also submit opinions to the competent ministries during their processing of applications filed on the basis of Slovenian decrees, and to the Government when adopting national sanctions.
The implementation of restrictive measures is supervised by public administration bodies, other entities under public law and bearers of public authority responsible for the domains to which the restrictive measures apply, unless otherwise specified by directly applicable EU legal acts. These bodies carry out the supervision in accordance with sector-specific legislation, while their powers may also be stipulated in provisions on supervision contained in Slovenian decrees.
Lists of sanctioned persons
Lists of persons who are subject to restrictive measures according to the aforementioned legal acts are contained in the documents named above. For a quick overview of financial sanctions in the EU, please see the consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions. For an overview of the United Nations Security Council Sanctions List, please see the UNSC Consolidated List.
Lifting the sanction and the freeze on funds, and de-listing
Lifting the sanction
On the basis of the ZOUPAMO, a person whose funds have been frozen may file an application with the competent bodies to lift the sanction. In this case, a certain amount of funds in the account is released to cover the basic needs, which are admissible in line with the sanction decrees, for instance for payments of foodstuffs, health care services and similar. The competent ministry under the Slovenian Implementation Decree takes decisions on such applications; in all other cases, Article 8 of the ZOUPAMO applies.
Lifting the freeze
The freeze on the funds is lifted when restrictive measures against a person whose funds have been frozen end. In practice, this means that an appropriate legal basis for restrictive measures in a particular area in general or against an individual ceases to apply.
Slovenian decrees implementing the UN or EU acts automatically cease to apply when the acts in question cease to apply.
If it is established that persons, groups or entities are wrongly included in an EU, UN or Slovenian sanctions list, they may submit a request for removal from the list(s).
EU and UN procedures relating to terrorism
Pursuant to the Common Position 2001/931/CFSP and Regulation 2580/2001/EC, EU Member States adopted special guidelines for the measures relating to the EU terrorist lists, including de-listing. Further explanation of the procedure in the Slovenian language is available on the website of the European Council.
Requests for removal from the lists contained in the Annex to Regulation 881/2002/EC implementing UNSC Resolution 1267(1999) may be submitted to the European Commission following the procedure laid down in Regulation 881/2002/EC. De-listing requests in line with Resolution 1267 (1999) may also be submitted to the Ombudsperson following the procedure outlined on the website of the United Nations Security Council.
EU and UN procedures in relation to restrictive measures against third countries
The procedures vary, depending on whether they are related to autonomous EU sanctions or UN Security Council measures. Requests for removal from lists related to the EU autonomous sanctions are submitted to the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU.
Listed persons and entities may also institute proceedings against an EU act addressed to them, which are heard in the General Court of the EU.
Requests for removal from sanctions lists related to UNSC resolutions may be submitted directly to the relevant UNSC sanctions committee via the UNSC focal point or via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information on the procedure of the UNSC focal point is available on the website of the United Nations Security Council.
Procedures in Slovenia
As in EU procedures, listed persons may also request de-listing from the Slovenian sanctions list. In this case, the request should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
The listed persons may also institute proceedings before Slovenian courts against decrees on their placement on sanctions lists.