The request from the Faroe Islands (i.e. Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands) for establishing a panel in the dispute opposing the Faroe Islands and the European in relation to the latter´s use of coercive economic measures towards the Faroe Islands in relation to the Atlanto-Scandian herring was today discussed at a meeting in the Dispute Settlement Body.
The European Union used its right to block the establishment of a WTO panel.
Faroe Islands Prime Minister, Mr. Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, states that "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 in the above-mentioned dispute between the Faroe Islands and the European Union 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.