EUROPEAN COMMISSION (SANCTIONING POWERS) ACT


  • Commission

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION (SANCTIONING POWERS) ACT

    Written by Premier Commissioner Dr Walter Cocx
    Presented by Cllr Sir Augustus Barrington & Premier Commissioner Dr Walter Cocx


    PREAMBLE

    An Act to Enable the European Commission to Act Decisively against Destabilising and Rogue Regimes by the Promulgation of Region-Wide Economic, Diplomatic, and Military Sanctions


    DEFINITIONS

    I. Sanction Request: formal, written notice on behalf of one Member State appealing for the institution of region-wide sanctions against another Member State.
    II. Sanction Sponsor: the national authority responsible for a Sanction Request.
    III. Sanction Enforcer: the responsible authority for region-wide sanctions.
    IV. Sanction Subject: the Member State against which region-wide Sanctions are made.


    SECTION I - SANCTION REQUESTS

    I. Member States may apply to the European Commission with a Sanction Request.
    II. Member States must, as Sanction Sponsors, justify their Sanction Request(s) in full, in writing, within two calendar days of submitting a Sanction Request.
    III. Two separate Sanction Sponsors must submit a Sanction Request against the same Member State in order for the Sanction Request to be considered.
    IV. The European Commission will deliberate and come to a unanimous decision on whether to grant or deny a Sanction Request within five calendar days from the submission of the second Sanction Request against the same Member State.
           (i.) A two-thirds majority of the European Commission may grant a Sanction Request only if the Premier Commissioner is not the dissenting party.
    V. The European Commission may deny a Sanction Request; this does not affect the rights of Member States individually to impose Sanctions against another Member State.


    SECTION II - SANCTION IMPLEMENTATION

    I. Should the European Commission decide to grant a Sanction Request, it will notify the European Council accordingly. The Premier Commissioner shall then assume the role of Sanction Enforcer;
           (i.) The Internal Affairs Commissioner may assume the role of Sanction Enforcer if the Premier so wishes.
    II. The Sanction Enforcer shall, within two calendar days of the granting of a Sanction Request, publish a list of region-wide Sanctions to be enforced against the Sanction Subject.
    III. Region-wide Sanctions which can be promulgated by the Sanction Enforcer against the Sanction Subject are limited to Sanctions described in Section III. The Sanction Enforcer shall take reasonable precaution in proclaiming Sanctions and shall consider the economic, geopolitical, and diplomatic implications of region-wide Sanctions in the proclamation.
    IV. Member States must harmonise their national regulations with the promulgation by the Sanction Enforcer as soon as practical, but certainly no later than fourteen days following the same promulgation.


    SECTION III - SANCTION TYPES

    Sanctions which may be enacted by the Sanction Enforcer against the Sanction Subject include:
    I. Economic Sanctions
           (i.) Full and total suspension of any and all trade with the Sanction Subject;
           (ii.) Targeted suspension of trade in certain goods or commodities, to be determined by the Sanction Enforcer;
           (iii.) Suspension of the Sanction Subject's access to financial markets based in other Member States;
           (iv.) Suspension of the supply of electricity, natural gas, and/or other natural or financial resources to the Sanction Subject from other Member States;
           (v.) Levying of increased tariffs and taxes on goods imported to or exported to/from the Sanction Subject to/from other Member States;
    II. Diplomatic Sanctions
           (i.) Suspension of diplomatic representation of the Sanction Subject on European institutions, including the European Council and European Court of Justice;
           (ii.) Cancellation and suspension of official visits by representatives of the Sanction Subject to other Member States;
           (iii.) Expelling of diplomatic staff from the Sanction Subject from embassies and consulates in other Member States;
           (iv.) Restrictions on travel by citizens of the Sanction Subject to other Member States;
    III. Military Sanctions
           (i.) Suspension of trade in arms and/or military equipment between Member States and the Sanction Subject;
           (ii.) Suspension of military agreements between the Sanction Subject and other Member States;
           (iii.) Infiltration and degradation of military installations belonging to the Sanction Subject either by cyberwarfare or direct military means;
    IV. Individual Sanctions
           (i.) Travel restrictions against individuals representing or belonging to the government of the Sanction Subject;
           (ii.) Seizing of economic assets in other Member States belonging to individuals representing or belonging to the government of the Sanction Subject;
           (iii.) Taking into custody and bringing to trial of individuals representing or belonging to the government of the Sanction Subject, who are suspected to have committed an offence against European law or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;


    SECTION IV - APPEALS

    I. Member States which are the Sanction Subject may appeal to the European Court of Justice for Sanctions to be lifted;
    II. The Premier Commissioner shall always testify as or on behalf of the Sanction Enforcer in such cases;
    III. Sanctions promulgated by the Sanction Enforcer shall be declared null and void immediately upon a European Court of Justice judgement in favour of the Sanction Subject;
    IV. Other Member States may also appeal to end region-wide Sanctions by petitioning the Premier Commissioner;
    V. The Premier Commissioner shall then meet with representatives from the appealing Member State. The Premier Commissioner may offer financial incentives to appealing Member States to compensate economic damage as a result of the region-wide sanctions imposed by the Sanction Enforcer;


    SECTION V - RENEWALS

    I. Region-wide Sanctions shall be subject to renewal by majority vote in the European Council every calendar month;
    II. The Sanction Enforcer shall declare region-wide Sanctions null and void immediately upon a European Council vote to refuse renewal;


    SECTION VI - IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

    I. Member States must implement economic and diplomatic Sanctions as defined by the Sanction Enforcer under Section III within two weeks or fourteen days of the proclamation of such sanctions.
    II. Any Member State which violates any section of this Act by refusing or failing to implement Sanctions promulgated by the Sanction Enforcer, or in any other way whatsoever, shall commit a punishable offence and may be tried in the European Court of Justice.
    III. Further, any Member State found to have acted contrary to the region-wide Sanctions imposed by the Sanction Enforcer shall commit a punishable offence and may be tried by the European Court of Justice;
    IV. Region-wide Sanctions promulgated by the Sanction Enforcer do not prevent Member States from proclaiming additional Sanctions against the Sanction Subject.



    "Councillors, the European Union acts as a final guardian against injustice, violence, and terror across Member States. In order to fulfill this key role, European Institutions must be granted the powers to act against destabilising forces and violent regimes. This Act, which I prepared in tandem with Cllr Sir Augustus Barrington of Inimicus, allows the Commission to take necessary, compelling steps, while respecting the freedoms and rights of member states.

    “For example, although sanctions enforced under this Act are region-wide, member states which disagree with these measures may appeal directly to the Premier Commissioner for financial assistance if they have been economically disadvantaged by sanctions under this Act. Region-wide sanctions are furthermore subject to monthly review by you, Councillors, the democratic representatives of the peoples and states of our Union.

    “Yes, this Act is tough. It empowers the Commission with prerogatives it should not use lightly. But these powers can only be used if member states themselves, and not just one member state, but two, lodge a formal, written request for them to be used. A clear-cut appeals process furthermore makes it possible for the European Court of Justice to overrule the Commission if it has acted rashly. This is why Section II.III explicitly requires the enforcing Commissioner to act carefully – it is entirely within the Court’s power to determine that this has not happened.

    “Councillors, I will remain in the Chamber during this debate to answer any questions you might have. But I implore you: act now. Our Union is the subject of massive, destructive, destabilising influences from multiple member states at present. We must ensure this ends. Act now, and prevent the deaths and suffering of millions of our citizens. Thank you.”

    Dr Walter Cocx
    Premier Commissioner


  • EU

    I have to say I'm afraid I cannot support this bill as it stands. I do not believe the commission and two member states should be the decider on sanctions with only three people having outsized influence on the EU nations foreign policy. The only way I could support this bill is if a council vote of 66%+1 was required in order to implement sanctions. That way at least the body most people see as the democratic legislative body would be the one in control of sanctions. Its ironic for all Cocx's and Innimicus's talk of sovreignty they want to give the EU a massive power that should at the very least be wielded only with a significant majority of member states being in favour. I honestly believe this bill would be a threat to the core of the EU and risk having members leave just in case they are ever forced to sanction at the whim of the comission. I hope this gets reformed quickly and will look at suggesting ammendments myself to fix these issues of national sovreignty.

    James Mizrachi-Roscoe
    Councillour for United Duchies


  • EU

    Debate on this will continue until 24 February 2021 at 20h00 GMT.

    Charles Michel
    Council Speaker and Councilor for Fremet


  • EU

    I must say that I agree with the spirit of this bill. We thank Commissioner Cox for this piece of legislation. Althought we have to make some observations and amendments for this to be fruitfull. I agree with a qualified majority of 55% of member states who activelly are in the Council vote in favour, under the prerrogatives of the extension of the debate or voting. Meaning that we need more than four member states in favor of the proposal, and it can be extended the voting process by the Council Speaker, as long as it is necessary because this is no light decision.

    Emma Granger
    Councillor for Montenbourg


  • EU

    Dear Premier Commissioner this proposition is totally unacceptable to Czech Slavia and I expect it to be unacceptable to many other member states and the councilors representing them. It is clear that this act aims at walking around the European Council and the member states and centering more power around the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, it doesn't only gravely violate national sovereignty, as councilor Mizrachi-Roscoe correctly pointed out, but also upsets the separation of powers in the EU. This can result only in the citizens in the member states feeling even more disconnected from the European Union.

    It would further damage the relations and trust between the member states creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and high tensions. For it makes any country more vulnerable to foreign plundering of its resources as threatening with imposing region-wide sanctions could be used to force member states into unjust trade deals. It is also a way how this act would restrict the free trade, outside of the obvious sanctions themselves.

    I agree with you, Premier Commissioner Cocx, that "our Union is the subject of massive, destructive, destabilising influences" but not from the member states, but rather from the elites seeking to centralize more and more power among themselves.

    Václav Kohout
    Councilor for Czech Slavia


  • EU

    This is a huge power grab against this body on the part of the European Commission. Pravoslaviya firmly opposes it.

    Cllr Tupac Shakur


  • Commission

    "Councillors, I see there is much resentment against the so-called "power grab" by the Commission that I propose with this Act. Note that this is anything but a power grab, there are tight checks and controls on embargos and sanctions enforced by the Commission and any nation can appeal to various European institutions at any point.

    Nevertheless, I hear Cllr Granger's words and agree with her that an initial decision by the Council might be within the best interests of the Act, if it wants to pass. However, I do not agree with Cllr Mizrachi-Roscoe's proposal for this to be a supermajority -- these are immensely rare under our Constitution and, when lives are at stake, we should not waste time with petty politics. I have nothing much to say in response to Cllr Kohout's slur, I think his judgements should concern the wording of the Act rather than me personally.

    It is with this in mind that I am happy to concede some of the strengths of this Act with the following amendments:

    Amendment I
    SECTION I - SANCTION REQUESTS
    III. Two Four separate Sanction Sponsors must submit a Sanction Request against the same Member State in order for the Sanction Request to be considered.

    Amendment II
    SECTION II - SANCTION IMPLEMENTATION

    I. Should the European Commission decide to grant a Sanction Request, it will notify the European Council accordingly. the Premier Commissioner shall propose a Sanction motion to the European Council. Upon passage of this motion, the Premier Commissioner shall then assume the role of Sanction Enforcer;

    Amendment III
    SECTION III - SANCTION TYPES
    III. Military Sanctions
    (i.) Suspension of trade in arms and/or military equipment between Member States and the Sanction Subject;
    (ii.) Suspension of military agreements between the Sanction Subject and other Member States;
    (iii.) Infiltration and degradation of military installations belonging to the Sanction Subject either by cyberwarfare or direct military means;

    Renumber Section III.IV as Section III.III

    Dr Walter Cocx
    Premier Commissioner


  • EU

    Excellent amendments Premier Cocx.

    Montenbourg stands with these new amendments and exhorts all Councillors to find a way to path this legislation into an Act.

    This is a must needed Act.

    Emma Granger
    Councillor for Montenbourg


  • EU

    First of all I would like to welcome Dr. Cocx to the chamber as Premier Commissioner, and thank him for his immediate action at the front of the European Commission. I do agree with you, Premier Commissioner, when you say we need to act "as a final guardian against injustice, violence, and terror across Member States". But, at the same time, I disagree when you say "European Institutions must be granted the powers to act against destabilising forces and violent regimes." That's not how things should be done, and we should give freedom to member states.

    The many articles and sections this act has might be a great basis for another act, maybe on Council Condemnations, which are more effective and could be more flexible. Everybody could propose a condemnation while the Council could accept it or else, repeal it. It is much easier for us, Councillors, to continue with our work and we also get Commission a bit far from sanctions and a possible lose of neutrality when it comes to enforcing these sanctions, and Section I gives you the answer. I also don't like Article IV.I when it comes to the Premier Commissioner, as he could perfectly avoid sanctions for his country just because he is the Premier Commissioner, something pretty unfair.

    It also worries me when it comes to the Council role. When sanctions are passed on a member state by the Commission, the Council is just "notified", which in my opinion is a kind of bad joke and makes the Council seem like a stupid institution. And even if we, the European Council, need to vote on renewals, I won't tolerate just a single notification to this chamber and giving full power to the Commission for a month, a 25% of their complete term without any supervision from the Council when it comes to sanctions. At least, the Premier has realised about his mistake and proposed an amendment on that, which I welcome. And even if I agree with some things said in Section IV, the European Union can't afford a petitioned Premier Commissioner, so I would rather pass a Constitutional Amendment to impeach the Premier instead of having a petitioned Premier, as Spain is not paying money to countries which managed to have their sanctions lifted even if they didn't deserve it, a feeling that I think I share with many others in this room.

    On the Amendments proposed by Dr. Cocx, I'm not a fan of Amendment III, but the others are quite fine to me.

    That's why I'm proposing the following Amendments:


    Amendment I

    SECTION I - SANCTION REQUESTS
    (i.) A two-thirds majority of the European Commission may grant a Sanction Request only if the Premier Commissioner is not the dissenting party.


    Amendment II

    SECTION IV - APPEALS
    IV. Other Member States may also appeal to end region-wide Sanctions by petitioning the Premier Commissioner; by a joint appeal along with the Sanction Subject;
    V. The Premier Commissioner shall then meet with representatives from the appealing Member State if the European Court of Justice lifts Sanctions in order to seek for a compensation to the Sanction Subject.. The Premier Commissioner may offer financial incentives to appealing Member States to compensate economic damage as a result of the region-wide sanctions imposed by the Sanction Enforcer;
    VI. The proposed compensation shall be proposed to the European Council as a Compensation motion, which shall be passed by majority vote.


    Donald Tusk
    Deputy Speaker and Councillor for Spain


  • EU

    In light of newly proposed amendments, I will be extending the debate period until Monday, 1 March 2021 at 12h00 GMT.

    Charles Michel
    Council Speaker and Councilor for the Kingdom of Fremet


  • EU

    The debate period has ended. We will now vote on amendments.

    The proposed amendments are as follows:


    Amendment I: (Proposed by PC Cocx)

    SECTION I - SANCTION REQUESTS

    III. Two Four separate Sanction Sponsors must submit a Sanction Request against the same Member State in order for the Sanction Request to be considered.


    Amendment II: (Proposed by PC Cocx)

    SECTION II - SANCTION IMPLEMENTATION

    I. Should the European Commission decide to grant a Sanction Request, it will notify the European Council accordingly the Premier Commissioner shall propose a Sanction motion to the European Council. Upon passage of this motion, the Premier Commissioner shall then assume the role of Sanction Enforcer;


    Amendment III: (Proposed by PC Cocx)

    SECTION III - SANCTION TYPES

    III. Military Sanctions
    (i.) Suspension of trade in arms and/or military equipment between Member States and the Sanction Subject;
    (ii.) Suspension of military agreements between the Sanction Subject and other Member States;
    (iii.) Infiltration and degradation of military installations belonging to the Sanction Subject either by cyberwarfare or direct military means;

    Renumber Section III.IV as Section III.III


    Amendment IV: (Proposed by Councilor Tusk)

    SECTION I - SANCTION REQUESTS

    (i.) A two-thirds majority of the European Commission may grant a Sanction Request only if the Premier Commissioner is not the dissenting party.


    Amendment V: (Proposed by Councilor Tusk)

    SECTION IV - APPEALS

    IV. Other Member States may also appeal to end region-wide Sanctions by petitioning the Premier Commissioner; by a joint appeal along with the Sanction Subject;
    V. The Premier Commissioner shall then meet with representatives from the appealing Member State if the European Court of Justice lifts Sanctions in order to seek for a compensation to the Sanction Subject. The Premier Commissioner may offer financial incentives to appealing Member States to compensate economic damage as a result of the region-wide sanctions imposed by the Sanction Enforcer;
    VI. The proposed compensation shall be proposed to the European Council as a Compensation motion, which shall be passed by majority vote.


    Voting starts NOW and ends 7 March 2020 at 20h00 GMT.


    I vote FOR Amendments I, II, and IV.
    I vote AGAINST Amendments III and V.

    Charles Michel
    Council Speaker and Councilor for the Kingdom of Fremet


  • ECoJ

    I Vote AGAINST all the Amendments.

    Francis Plessis
    EU Councilor for Leagio


  • Commission

    The Empire of Inimicus votes FOR Amendments I, II, III, and IV, and AGAINST Amendment V.

    Nicholas Benfield
    Interim Councillor for Inimicus


  • EU

    United Duchies votes for ammendments I, II. , IV and V and against Ammendment II
    Sky Hooke , Deputy Councillour for United Duchies


  • Commission

    On behalf of the Alkharyan Republic, I vote FOR Amendment I and II, and vote AGAINST Amendment III, IV and V.

    Metin Fazlı
    European Councillor of the Alkharyan Republic


  • EU

    I vote FOR Amendments I, II, IV and V and AGAINST Amendment III.

    Donald Tusk
    Deputy Speaker and Councillor for Spain


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