Development of EU’s Sanctions Policy: Political and economic implications for Finland

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) jointly with the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla) conducted a research project entitled ”Development of EU’s Sanctions Policy: Political and economic implications for Finland”. The Project was part of the Finnish Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities (VN-TEAS) for 2019, and it ran until May 2020.

The European Union has increasingly used sanctions (restrictive measures) as a foreign policy tool. Recently, the EU has also imposed tougher – and targeted – economic sanctions against a neighbouring major power and close trading partner, Russia. While these sanctions were imposed in close collaboration with the US, some divergence between the US and EU sanctions policies has occurred recently over Iran, and to a lesser extent on Russia. In a more competitive global and regional milieu – in which geopolitics and geoeconomics are on the rise – western unity is likely to shape the possibilities and efficacy of the EU’s sanction policy in the mid- and longer-term.

The aim of this project was to examine (i) the development of the EU’s sanctions policy; (ii) assess its implications for Finland; and (iii) for Finnish businesses. The project also analysed the implications of the US sanctions policy for the EU and Finland.    

The research project was led by FIIA and Programme Director Juha Jokela, and it was executed jointly with Etla. FIIA’s research team included Senior Research Fellows Katja Creutz and Niklas Helwig, and Research Fellows Ville Sinkkonen and Matti Pesu. It was supported by Visiting Senior Fellow Clara Portela (EUISS). Etla’s research team included Head of forecasting Markku Lehmus and Researcher Birgitta Berg-Andersson. The coordination of the project was provided by FIIA’s Research Assistant Anu Ruokamo (

As part of the project, an Etla report was also published. Link to the publication

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EU sanctions policy for a geopolitical era
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