The importance of the EU as an international actor has grown substantially in the past decade, and the development of its sanctioning policy is one of the elements that has contributed to this (de Vries and Hazelzet 2005). The institutional capacities of the EU in imposing restrictive measures have developed from a loose co-operation in the area of foreign and security policy to a complex and welldeveloped mechanism capable of influencing and directly affecting the norms disciplining sanctions in the international system.