Upon entry into the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), new changes in the EU sanctions list came into force on 23 July 2014. Through a Decision and a new Regulation, the EU amended financial sanctions against Iraq, Syria, Libya and those targeting individuals or other entities that pose a potential terrorist threat.
The objectives of the amendments vary from providing clarity to existing provisions, to including additional individuals and entities that are now subject to asset freezes and travel bans.
The move followed a renewed commitment from the Council of the EU to accelerate the preparation of targeted measures agreed at the special meeting of the European Council on the 16 July. This included targeting individuals and entities that provide material or financial support to the Russian decision makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea, or the destabilisation of Eastern-Ukraine and the adoption of additional measures to restrict trade with and investment in Crimea. The results of this commitment were released on the 24 July and concluded the next day, at the same time as Canada announced sanctions against Russia and Ukraine, and shortly before similar announcements from the US.
With so much current media focus on global sanctions, it can be difficult to find relevant articles when conducting research. Searching for ‘sanctions’ will unearth a plethora of articles relating to a whole range of current sanctions, with the vast majority focusing on Russia and Ukraine. Filtering out these results to reveal, for example, articles relating only to sanctions against Libya will be difficult to achieve with a high degree of accuracy. When conducting research it is also vital that key results are not omitted from filtered searches and that the results are a complete representation of the available information.
Using Nexis Analyser it is possible to create an accurately refined search of the media profile of global sanctions. To analyse the sanctions involving only Iraq, Libya and Syria against a backdrop of global coverage focusing mainly on the situation in Russia would be virtually impossible using open Web tools. Even relying on a service such as Google Alerts would mean missing out on a large number of relevant news articles every day (as well as receiving irrelevant ones). Nexis Analyser will produce an accurate and complete media profile picture, and the visual output enables the production of an effective report on changes in media profile over time. Here’s an example.
This graph shows a detailed visual of a group of searches for the media profile of sanctions during the period of the 20 July to the 25 July. The media profile of each nation can be narrowed down and set against that of the global profile. In this graph, the darker brown curve represents the media profile of sanctions against Iraq and the lighter brown sanctions against Syria. The blue curve at the bottom represents the media profile of sanctions against Libya and the overarching purple curve represents the media profile of sanctions against every other relevant country combined.
The graph clearly demonstrates the increase in the media profile of sanctions over the 23-24 July. Although both Iraq and Syria experience a significant but varied surge in media profile against the media profile of sanctions worldwide, this is nowhere near the profile of ‘other’ nations, most likely due to the effect of global interest in the situation involving Russia and Ukraine. As the amendments made to the sanctions against Libya only involved the removal of Mohamad Ali Zidane (the former Minister for Transport in Colonel Qadhafi’s Government) from the list of those subject to restrictive measures, the media profile of Libya specifically is actually fairly low.
As well as the amendments to the sanctions against several different countries at the same time, recent events have contributed to a variety of movement in the media profiles of several countries. In an area of high media interest like this, it can be extremely difficult to produce a set of meaningful search results focusing on one or several aspects of the situation, especially when using free tools and open Web sources. A tool like Nexis Analyser can become invaluable when accurate results are needed quickly, particularly when making business critical decisions.