Faroese premiere claims sanctions damaging economy

The stand-off between the Faroe Islands and the EU over fishing quotas is showing no signs of easing off. The Faroese government remains at loggerheads with the EU over mackerel and herring quotas, with 90 per cent of the archipelago’s export revenue dependent on fish.

Peace talks got underway in the Scottish capital Edinburgh earlier in the week regarding the mackerel quota, while EU sanctions are likely to be introduced over its herring quota.

The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) has put a panel in place to look at the herring quota after the Faroese government launched a complaint that the measures were harmful to the economy. The island group claims the EU economic measures are coercive and in violation of WTO Agreement obligations.

Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen pointed out that the EU’s economy is 10,000 times greater than the Faroe Islands’ and such coercive measures are significantly impacting the Faroese economy.

As part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands had to submit its request for establishing a WTO panel through Denmark. Johannesen said it was important to attempt to bring an end to such coercive economic measures, which he claimed violated the EU’s obligations under the WTO Agreement.