The Faroe Islands and the European Union
When Denmark in 1973 joined the European Economic Community, now the European Union, the Faroes had the option to remain outside. Like other fisheries dependent communities, the Faroese have not found it their interest to become subject to the Common Fisheries Policy. As a result, the Faroes is regarded as a third country in the context of the EU. The formal relationship between the parties is regulated by two bilateral agreements:
The first Free Trade Agreement between the Faroes and the EC was made in 1991 and later revised in 1996. After negotiations between the parties, Protocol I on market access was replaced in 1998. With this revision, many of the original restrictions were removed, enabling the Faroes to export most of its fish products to the EU market. There remain nevertheless, quantitative restrictions on some areas of vital importance for the Faroese industry.
In 2001, the Faroes and the European Union finshed negotiations on a Veterinary Protocol, that is part of the Trade Agreement. In 2005 the Faroes also joined the System of Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Cumulation.
Other Trade Agreements
The Faroes has Free Trade Agreements with three EFTA countries - Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. In addition to these agreements the Faroes used to have free trade agreements with Poland and Estonia, in order to facilitate trade with Central- and Eastern Europe. However, since the accession of Poland and Estonia in the European Union, these agreements have been annulled.