EU sanctions policy for a geopolitical era

Webinar · 27.05.2020 13:00 - 14:30

Sanctions (i.e. restrictive measures) are among the toughest measures adopted by the EU in response to breaches of international norms and to security threats. Recently, stronger and more targeted economic sanctions against Iran and Russia have demonstrated the Union’s strength in the face of grave security policy challenges. The increasingly unilateral and unpredictable US sanctions policy and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU pose challenges to this more forceful approach during times of increasing geopolitical and geo-economic competition. How to strengthen the EU sanctions policy in light of these challenges? What are the implications of developments in the EU sanctions policy for Finland?

The seminar will mark the publication of the study titled Sharpening EU sanctions policy for a geopolitical era. The study is the final report of the research project The development of EU’s sanctions policy: Political and economic implications for Finland, which was conducted jointly by FIIA and ETLA Economic Research as a part of the implementation of the Finland’s Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research (VN TEAS).

A recording of the webinar is available at the bottom of this page.


Opening remarks

Kai Sauer

Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Kai Sauer is the Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Previously, he has worked as Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York (2014-2019) and as Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN (2010-2014). Mr Sauer has also served as Director at the Unit for UN Affairs of the MFA, as Senior Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, President Martti Ahtisaari in UNOSEK and as Director of the Unit for the Western Balkans of the MFA. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Tampere and a Doctorate of Humane Letters (h.c.), Northland College, Wisconsin.

Introduction of the new report

Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA

Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at the FIIA. His current research interests include political implications of Brexit, differentiated integration (in EU’s external relations), and the EMU reforms. His previous projects and publications include political and security developments in the Arctic, EU’s role in the G20, EU’s Asia policy, Europeanization of foreign policy, and Finland’s EU policy. Previously he has worked in the EUISS as Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Advisor in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Jokela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK).

Clara Portela

Senior Associate Analyst, The European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)

Clara Portela is a Senior Associate Analyst at the EUISS, having previously served as a professor of Political Science at the University of Valencia (Spain) and Singapore Management University (Singapore). Her research focuses on multilateral sanctions, arms control and disarmament, and EU foreign policy. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and an MA from the Free University of Berlin. Dr. Portela has been a Visiting Professor at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the College of Europe, the University of Innsbruck, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at FIIA.

Birgitta Berg-Andersson

Researcher, ETLA Economic Research

Birgitta Berg-Andersson is a Researcher at ETLA Economic Research. Her main position at present is as an economist in ETLA’s forecasting unit, specializing in foreign trade and the industrial sector. Her previous projects and publications include Estonian economy and European Integration, Evaluation of science and technology policies in the Baltic countries as well as industrial surveys and research on the growth of the firm. She holds a Licentiate’s degree in Economics from Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, where she has previously worked as a university teacher in economics.


Laura Solanko

Senior Advisor, The Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)

Laura Solanko is Senior Advisor at the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT), currently responsible for Russian economic policies, banking sector developments and energy markets. Her current research is on empirical banking and on political economy, with ongoing research projects on political lending cycles in Russia and on the effects of sanctions on listed European firms. Her research has been published e.g. in Journal of Banking and Finance, Public Choice, Review of International Economics and Russian Journal of Money and Finance. She holds a PhD from the University of Helsinki.


Juha Rainne

Counsellor and Advisor to the Under-Secretary of State and to the Director- General of the Political Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Juha Rainne is Counsellor and Advisor to the Under-Secretary of State and to the Director-General of the Political Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Previously, he has worked at the Finnish Mission to NATO, the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU and the Embassy of Finland to Lebanon, where he also served as the Chargé d’Affaires of Finland to Syria. At the Foreign Ministry, he has previously worked at the Units for International Law, Russia and the Middle East. He holds an LL.M. from the University of Helsinki and has publications in the field of security policy and international law, such as the monograph "Legal Implications of NATO Membership".