Both the US, and more recently, the UK have already implemented "Magnitsky-style" sanctions which target individuals and entities involved in human rights violations.
After much discussion and calls to do so in recent months, it has now been reported that the EU is prepared to sign off on its own human rights sanctions regime. The new EU human rights sanctions regime was agreed by foreign policy experts from the 27 member states on 26 November and will be formally approved by ministers on 7 December, or, according to the Guardian more likely by written procedure on 10 December - which is also the 77th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to reports, a leaked copy of the decision obtained by the Guardian says the legal act “establishes a framework for targeted restrictive measures to address serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide”. It is expected to target international crimes such as genocide, torture, and arbitrary arrests or detentions.
The EU cannot enforce individual sanctions such as travel bans on individuals; the power to do so remains with member state governments. The new act will replace the EU’s country-by-country asset freezes and travel bans on individuals deemed to have violated fundamental rights with a single framework for imposing such penalties. There are no indications yet of who might become the first targets of the new human rights sanctions.
The European parliament has repeatedly called for the EU to adopt legislation similar to that enacted in the US to allow the bloc to target individuals irrespective of their nationality.