The unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States have led some European companies to suspend or terminate their contracts with their counterparts in the sanctioned countries.
This issue has been the subject of several cases before the national courts of EU Member States. In most cases, however, the courts refer to European Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/1996 of 22 November 1996 (the Blocking Statute), which was reactivated after the US’s withdrawal of the JCPOA to safeguard European companies from the effects of the extraterritorial application of foreign laws.
In particular, the relevant case law of the European Courts maintains the view that, as of EU’s Blocking Statute, the exposure of European companies to the US primary and/or secondary sanctions cannot justify a unilateral withdrawal or suspension of their agreement with their counterparts. Indeed, in view of the EU’s Blocking Statute and the principles of international contract law, European companies are required either to comply with their contractual obligations or to face the consequences of their failure to do so.
In order to conduct an in-depth legal research on this issue, we currently work on a project to collect all jurisprudence, legal opinions and relevant academic articles concerning the EU Blocking Statute and the US Sanctions.
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