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EU Blocks Faroe Islands WTO Panel Request

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

FAROE ISLANDS - A request from the Faroe Islands for the establishment of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel due to the EU's use of coercive economic measures towards the Faroe Islands in relation to the Atlanto-Scandian herring has been discussed at a meeting in the Dispute Settlement Body.

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The European Union used its right to block the establishment of a WTO panel.

Speaking on the decision, Faroe Islands Prime Minister, Mr Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, stated: "This is very regrettable. The European Union has an economy which is more than 10,000 times bigger than that of the Faroe Islands and having in mind the significant harm the coercive measures produce on our small nations economy I would have hoped that the European Union would cooperate to have a third instance examine whether the measures are in breach of it´s international commitments under the WTO Agreement or whether the prohibitions and restrictions may be justified under the WTO Agreement, rather than postponing this important step in order to ensure the sustainable management of the Atlanto-Scandian herring."

The establishment of the panel is now deferred to the next meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body, on 26 February 2014, at which point the European Union cannot block the establishment of a panel to consider the claims of the Faroe Islands.

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