EU adds Hezbollah's military wing to terrorism asset freezing list

The European foreign ministers have agreed to add the military wing of Hezbollah to the list of designated terrorist organisations which will make it illegal for Hezbollah to have access to funds and economic services in the EU.

ECJ judgement in Kadi II

Yassin Kadi was added to the UN Security Council and EU's terrorist asset freezing sanctions list after 9/11 without being notified of the reasons for such a listing, infringing his right of defence and right to effective judicial review. Kadi challenged his EU designation, losing his action at first instance, however the ECJ annulled his designation on appeal. Soon after the ECJ's decision, Kadi was relisted by the UN Security Council which this time gave a summary of the reasons for his listing. The EU again added Kadi to its list and Kadi challenged his relisting, asserting that it was in breach of general principles of EU law. The ECJ in Kadi (II) has now held that none of the reasons given by the UN Sanctions Committee in its summary of reasons was substantiated, and therefore his EU designation could not be justified. Please click to see the judgement and press release.

EU renews and amends sanctions against North Korea and Syria

The Council of the EU has renewed and amended its restrictive measures against North Korea and Syria. Regulation (EU) No 696/2013 has introduced additional measures restricting EU banks' dealings with North Korean financial institutions, including a prohibition on establishing and maintaining correspondent banking relationships.

A new annex listing designated persons whose assets must be frozen has been created: Annex Va. Annex Va includes persons, entities or bodies who are working on behalf of, or at the direction of, existing designated persons (listed in Annexes IV and V) or persons assisting in the evasion of sanctions or violating the provisions of the 2007 Regulation setting out the EU's sanctions against North Korea.

The new Syrian Regulation (EU) No 697/2013 extended the list of items subject to prior authorisation for sale/ supply/ transfer/ export (with exceptions for consumer goods). In addition the Regulation contains a derogation from the prohibition on the opening of bank accounts with Syrian credit or financial institutions. HM Treasury has published a notice setting out on what grounds it will grant authorisation. Finally, the new Regulation introduces licensing grounds to some of the existing trade sanctions, including the oil embargo. Member States can (under certain conditions) authorise transactions which will benefit the Syrian population. We will issue a more detailed update on these developments in due course.

Global Corruption Barometer 2013

Transparency International (TI) has published the Global Corruption Barometer for 2013. TI's Global Corruption Barometer is the world's largest public opinion survey on corruption: it shows that more than one in two people think corruption has worsened in the last two years and that 27% of respondents have paid a bribe when accessing public services in the last year, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.