EU Commissioners: Hope for the deterrent effect
Photo: Olivier Matthys / dpa
The interference of other countries in political decisions of the EU or its member states should in future be punishable by far-reaching retaliatory measures. The EU Commission responsible for legislative proposals presented a new sanction instrument in Brussels. It would empower the Commission, for example, to impose trade or investment restrictions against third countries that interfere in an inadmissible manner in the political decisions of the EU or the EU member states.
Theoretically, it would therefore be conceivable to restrict the USA's access to the EU internal market if the government in Washington were to try to prevent the commissioning of the new Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream between Russia and Germany with coercive measures.
China, on the other hand, could face sanctions for threatening Lithuania with trade policy consequences because of its diplomatic rapprochement with Taiwan.
"This legal instrument is a response to the fact that the EU and its member states have been the target of targeted economic pressure in recent years," announced the EU Commission.
The Brussels authority did not mention which countries it was referring to.
However, there are currently fears of a possible trade conflict with Great Britain in the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
As a possible measure against economic pressure from third countries, the EU Commission proposes freezing access to public contracts, lifting EU approvals for food or other products from third countries or issuing bans on participation in EU-funded research projects.
Above all, the EU Commission hopes that the planned instrument will have a deterrent effect.
The background is that the EU countries are important sales markets for many other nations.
The governments in the Council of Member States and the European Parliament will now deal with the proposal for the new instrument.
Approval is not certain, especially in the Council, as a number of countries there are careful not to hand over any further powers to the EU Commission.
The chairman of the committee for international trade policy in the EU parliament, Bernd Lange (SPD), endorsed the project of the EU commission.
The EU must recognize "the reality of an increasingly harsh geopolitical landscape," he wrote in a guest post for the blog "Borderlex".
mik / dpa