The Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe held the tenth annual “EU Diplomacy Lectures” in Bruges on Thursday, 19 October 2023, followed by a short Q&A session.
Ambassador David O’SULLIVAN, EU Sanctions Envoy:
“EU sanctions against Russia – a paradigm shift or more of the same?”
Following Russia’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the EU jointly with key allies has adopted several packages of unprecedented sanctions against Russia. The main objective of these sanctions is threefold: 1) to provide Ukraine with a key military advantage by depleting Russia from accessing dual-use and advanced technology to manufacture cutting-edge weapons, 2) to degrade Russia’s ability to finance its war of aggression, and to 3) cripple the Russian industrial complex in the medium to long term. In this context, the EU Sanctions Envoy has been appointed in January 2023 to reach out to third countries and maximise the impact of EU sanctions against Russia by ensuring that sanctions are implemented fully and effectively.
About the speaker
David O’SULLIVAN was appointed as the European Union’s Sanctions Envoy in December 2022 and formally took up his role in the second half of January 2023.
Prior to his appointment as Sanctions Envoy, he was a Director General of the Institute for International and European Affairs, a leading Irish think tank. Between 2019 and 2022, he had joined the Brussels office of the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson LLP as a Senior Counsellor.
David O’SULLIVAN served as Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to the United States from November 2014 until February 2019.
Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the EU’s new diplomatic service, the European External Action Service. He had previously held a number of senior positions within the European Commission, including Director General for Trade (2005-2010); Secretary General of the European Commission (2000-2005); and Chief of Staff to Commission President Romano Prodi (1999-2000). Before joining the Commission, he started his career with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (1977-1979).
He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the College of Europe in Bruges and holds Honorary Doctorates from the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. He was conferred the EU Transatlantic Business Award by the American Chamber of Commerce in 2014. In 2019, he was awarded the Légion d’honneur by France and made a Grand Officier de l’Ordre de Léopold by Belgium. He is Chairman of the Governing Board of the European Policy Centre, and a Member of the Governing Board of the King Baudouin Foundation.