EU Ministerial Council Split over Mackerel Sanctions Skip to content

EU Ministerial Council Split over Mackerel Sanctions

Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson said the most notable news from the EU Ministerial Council’s approving of sanctions due to mackerel fishing yesterday is that members of the council disagree on how to proceed.

fishingship_ipaPhoto copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.

“Two nations, that are among the largest in fisheries, Denmark and Germany, did not think it right to approve the proposal and abstained,” Össur told Fréttablaðið.

Denmark submitted an extensive protocol yesterday where they reserved the right to refer actions that may be directed towards the Faroe Islands (which is an autonomous region of Denmark), to the European Court.

“If that is the conclusion on the Faroe Islands, the same must apply to Iceland,” Össur reasoned.

The minister does not approve of European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki’s pleadings in the mackerel dispute.

“I did not find it pleasing to see and hear Damanaki speak like a public relations officer for our friends and cousins the Norwegians and declare that they side with them in this war. I find it absolutely impossible that Norway would partake in something that doesn’t coincide completely with the EEA agreement,” Össur concluded.

The European Parliament adopted sanctions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands on accusations of unsustainable fishing on September 12.

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