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Concerns about EU sanctions’ impact on European retail investors

Engin Eroglu

As European sanctions on Russia remain on the forefront of the European Commission’s agenda, parliamentarians at the democratically elected European Parliament have recently expressed a host of concerns around consequences from such sanctions that hurt, not help European retail investors.

Focused on cutting off Russian companies from the market, the EU sanctions’ impact on European retail investors – many heavily exposed in Russian stocks – could provide a boost for Russia rather than hinder the country’s economic activity. Such an outcome falls contrary to European Union sanction aims.

European Democratic Party member and MEP Engin Eroglu brought these concerns to light in three sharply worded questions posted in his official request to the Commission, which ask:

  1. “Is the Commission aware of this aspect of the sanctions?”
  2. “What possibilities does the Commission see to modify the sanctions in a way that will affect Russian state leadership and not the small investors in the EU?”
  3. “In the Commission’s view, to what extent do such actions jeopardize the stock culture in the EU?”

While the sanctions on Russia prove justified, the Commission must further consider unintended impacts felt by Europeans from these sanctions. The request calls for a revaluation of sanctions implementation and their potential counterproductive impact on EU investors yet remaining vocal in its support of Ukraine.

The EDP presidency has voiced full support of EU sanctions on Russia. The request to the Commission will not intend to downplay such effects. In addition, such a request will not diminish the purpose of isolating Russia’s economic position. Unity with Ukraine carries equal importance and maintenance of European economic stability remains on the forefront of MEPs’ work. EDP MEPs stress the need for stimulating economic growth based on democratic values and beliefs — even in unprecedented times.

If sanctions are active, then the European Union’s responsibility is to make sure that its Member States are not faced with repercussions, including economic. For this exact reason, German MEP Engin Eroglu urges the Commission to consider the potential impact on European investors and remains hopeful that the Commission will respond to this request in an understanding manner, remaining steadfast on sanctions applied, modifying them appropriately to avoid a heavy toll on the EU economy.