This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Written questions on the use of shell companies to evade EU sanctions against Syria

On the 10th of May 2016 MEP Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) submitted the following written questions to the Vice-President / High Representative of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, News reports based on the so-called Panama papers claim that the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca registered a company called Maxima Middle East Trading in 2012. The report states that American authorities considered this company to be ‘the hub of a complex network of companies in the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands’, which was allegedly used to deliver gasoline to Syria ‘with the help of fake papers’. For this reason, in 2014 Maxima Middle East Trading and its director were placed on the US sanctions list. 1. Why was Maxima Middle East Trading not added to the EU sanctions list? 2. Which actions does the Commission intend to take to avoid that offshore companies are used to circumvent the EU's sanction regimes? 3. How does the EU cooperate with partners and share information on adding names to sanctions lists?