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Formal relations between the EU and the Faroe Islands are at present based on three separate bilateral agreements dealing with fisheries, trade in goods and scientific and technological cooperation.
The Faroe Islands is an archipelago of 18 islands with a population of 51,000, situated in the Northeast Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland. With extensive autonomy under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands decided not to become a part of the EC when Denmark joined in 1973. As such, the Treaties do not apply to the Faroe Islands (TFEU Article 355, 5 (a)). Formal relations between the EU and the Faroe Islands are currently based on three separate bilateral agreements dealing with fisheries, trade in goods and scientific and technological cooperation.
The Agreement on Fisheries between the EU and the Faroe Islands, which came into effect in 1980, provides a framework for annual consultations between the EU and the Faroe Islands on the exchange of fishing opportunities and reciprocal fishing access in each other’s waters.
The Agreement on Trade between the EU and the Faroe Islands, which covers trade in goods, came into effect in 1997. The Agreement was supplemented in 1999 with a Protocol on Veterinary Matters. The Joint Committee established by the Agreement is responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of the Agreement and meets regularly to consider relevant issues.
The Faroe Islands have participated as an associated country in EU research cooperation since becoming a part of the Seventh Framework Programme in 2010. In 2014, the EU and the Faroe Islands concluded the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, associating the Faroe Islands to Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020).
See also the Directorate General for Research and Innovation List of Associated Countries (as of 1 January 2017).