The present decade has witnessed a turning point in the autonomous sanctions practice of the European Union. One of the most evident features of recent sanctions practice is that measures are gradually becoming less ‘targeted’. Targeted sanctions are designed to affect those individuals and elites responsible for the policies condemned by the sender, rather than the population as a whole. The present talk considers the extent to which autonomous sanctions fulfil this objective by scrutinising three established sanctions strands of the EU: Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) sanctions, development aid suspensions and Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) withdrawals. It is argued that the notion of targeted sanctions has been more faithfully implemented in some strands of EU sanctions than in others, and that court challenges have driven the modification of selection criteria in the ‘flagship’ CFSP sanctions practice that accounts for the increasingly broad nature of the measures.

Bio: Dr Clara PORTELA holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and an MA from the Free University of Berlin, and is currently a full time faculty member at the University of Valencia, having previously been an assistant professor at Singapore Management University. She is the author of the monograph European Union Sanctions and Foreign Policy (2010), for which she received the 2011 THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration. She has prepared several reports for the European Parliament and participated in consultative processes convened by the United Nations and the European External Action Service. Clara Portela was a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin, Poland) and at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) in 2014/15 and has held visiting positions with Carleton University (Canada), the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble (France), the University of London (UK), the OSCE Academy (Kyrgystan) and Monash University (Australia), among others.