20th Sep 2021

EU to discuss blacklisting Hezbollah

  • The UK is leading a push to ban the militant wing of the Hezbollah group in the EU (Photo: looking4poetry)

EU foreign affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday (22 July) are set to discuss blacklisting the military wing of the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Listing it as a terrorist organisation requires unanimous agreement by all 28 ministers.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Sanctions could include possible travel and asset bans. EU officials and leaders would not be allowed contact with any of its members.

Hezbollah was established as an organisation in 1982 to spread the late Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Islamic Revolution” among Shiites in Lebanon and throughout the Arab region.

The group sees Europe as a base to help finance its activities.

Already banned in the Netherlands, the group also endures a number of restrictions elsewhere in the EU.

Broadcasts from its Al-Manar TV station are blocked in France, Germany, and Spain.

Bulgaria’s Minister of the Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov accused the group of a 2012 bomb attack on a bus in Burgas, which killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver.

Investigations into the attack are still ongoing, casting doubts on the evidence of the group’s involvement and Tsvetanov’s finger-pointing.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s open support of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his brutal two-year campaign to stamp out rebel groups may have increased the pressure in Brussels to place them on the EU terrorist watch list.

The UK wants to separate the civil and military wing of the group and ban the latter.

The idea has gained the support of Germany and France.

But other member states express concerns a ban could undermine Lebanon’s fragile stability.

Along with the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and Poland, Austria voiced concerns in June over British moves to put the group on the EU terrorist list.

Both Austria and Ireland have peacekeepers stationed at the Golan Heights and are concerned that a more radical Hezbollah would increase tensions in the region.

For its part, Lebanon says the ban could radicalise the movement and urged Brussels on Friday not to place it on its EU terrorist watch list.

It described the militant group as an "essential component of Lebanese society."


Why Russia politics threaten European security

Russia could expand hostile operations, such as poisonings, including beyond its borders, if it feels an "existential" threat and there is no European pushback.


Ten years on from Tahrir: EU's massive missed opportunity

Investing in the Arab world, in a smart way, is also investing in the European Union's future itself. Let's hope that the disasters of the last decade help to shape the neighbourhood policy of the next 10 years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. Netherlands against more rights for rejected asylum-seekers
  2. EU fishing fleet gets up to €1.5bn tax break, despite emissions
  3. Loophole: Italy's vaccinated migrants can't get Covid pass
  4. UN annual meeting plus Poland in focus This WEEK
  5. No EU strategic autonomy without Libyan stability
  6. MEPs suspect Gazprom manipulating gas price
  7. Fast fashion vs. climate - how 'repair & resell' is the new model
  8. Right of reply: Erik Bergkvist, S&D MEP and shadow rapporteur

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us