The European Sanctions Policy for Myanmar: Did it work?
Asia Peacebuilding Initiatives
Senior Research Fellow at the Institute Bart Gaens wrote an article about the European sanction policy for Myanmar. The article was published in Asia Peacebuilding Initiatives in December. Here is a quote from the conclusions:
“Can we say that sanctions played a role in spurring on change in Myanmar? European “smart” or “targeted” sanctions ultimately had little direct impact. They did not significantly harm the regime, and major business activities with European countries continued as before. In addition, they isolated the regime, and prevented a constructive dialogue from taking place. Nevertheless, indirectly sanctions did exert an influence. They played a psychological role, creating a desire on the part of the Myanmar leadership to regain international legitimacy. Sanctions were also important as a clear sign of support for the opposition. Last but not least importantly, they may have stirred a desire among the Myanmar leadership to balance foreign investments in the country and decrease the dependency on China.”