Iceland is a major stakeholder in relation to the management of various shared fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Icelandic fisheries management policy has for many years assured the sustainable utilisation of marine resources, unlike the EU common fisheries policy.
In recent months the European Union (EU) has conducted an on-going campaign of threats of coercive measures against Iceland and the Faroe Islands with the objective of gaining advantages in multilateral negotiations on the management of shared fish stocks. This conduct is in breach of various obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and general international law, in particular the obligation on coastal states to agree together on measures to assure the protection and development of a common stock. Furthermore, such measures would not be in accordance with the EU´s obligations under the WTO or, as regards Iceland, the EEA Agreement.
It is of great concern to the Government of Iceland that the EU seeks to prejudice the rights of free negotiation and agreement of other coastal States in the region, in pursuing the interests of certain Member States. It is of further concern to Iceland that the EU intentionally circumvents mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes, available under the Convention.
The Government of Iceland rejects and objects in the strongest terms to the EU's resort to threats of coercive measures against Iceland and the Faroe Islands as a means of settling disputes on the management of shared fish stocks. The Government calls on the EU to withdraw these threats, thereby abiding by its obligations under international law.