House of Commons seeks update on EU Zimbabwe sanctions review

The European Sanctions blog by Maya Lester, Brick Court Chambers & Michael O’Kane, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP.

The UK’s Europe Minister reported in October 2014 that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is “actively reviewing” whether or not the only remaining EU targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe (an asset freeze and travel ban on President Mugabe, Grace Mugabe and Zimbabwe Defence Industries, and an arms embargo) should be renewed by the EU in February 2015, when those measures come up for renewal (see previous post).

The House of Commons’ EU Scrutiny Committee has now requested the Minister, no later than 8 January 2015 (next week) to update the Committee on this review process, on the political situation in Zimbabwe and “the right way forward”, and not to let matters go “down to the wire… as has happened on previous occasions”.  The Committee also said it would have been helpful if the Minister had already “given us some idea of where there has been less progress than she had hoped for, and what improvements she has seen and in which areas”, and noted that: “given recent developments within the ruling ZANU party revolving around the future beyond President Mugabe, whatever decision the Council comes to over restrictions that now apply directly only to the President and his wife, is likely to be controversial”.

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