EU threatens to implement sanctions on Iceland by the end of this month, should the mackerel dispute remain unsolved by then.
Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner-designate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, declared at a fisheries meeting in Brussels yesterday that the union will take actions against Iceland and the Faeroe Islands soon if nothing changes, RÚV reports.
Damanaki said sacrificing yet another fishing year because of the dispute was out of the question.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, held a meeting this morning where the mackerel dispute was discussed.
Barroso said that the EU considered the mackerel population endangered and its main concern was to come to some agreement about the mackerel fishery. Sanctions would not transgress the framework of the EEA, WTO or any other international commitments by the EU.
Sigmundur Davíð is sceptic of reaching an agreement by the end of July. “I think it’s unlikely to finish this matter before the elections in Norway, although it’s clear that Icelanders are willing to negotiate and have, in fact, already conceded quite a bit, at our own initiative,” Sigmundur Davíð told RÚV. “Hopefully, the EU is willing to negotiate too.”