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Declaration 25 of the Treaty on European Union: Danish Territories and whaling

Published Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Denmark has invoked Declaration No. 25 TEU in support of the whaling activities of its territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark’s reliance on this Declaration at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has prevented the EU from presenting a more united stand on whaling issues at the IWC.

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Declaration No. 25, attached to the Final Act of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) in 1992, provides that where, in exceptional circumstances, divergences arise between the interests of the Union and those of the Member States’ overseas countries and territories, and a solution cannot be reached which accords with the position of the Union, the Member State concerned may act separately in the interests of their overseas countries and territories, without this affecting the Community’s interests.

Declaration No. 25 TEU has been invoked by Denmark in support of the whaling activities of its territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark’s reliance on this Declaration at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has prevented the EU from presenting a more united stand on whaling issues at the IWC.

Declaration 25 was not appended to the Treaty of Lisbon but it appears still to command respect among other EU Member States. In international law declarations are not legally binding, but they may have political weight. There are different views as to the status of this Declaration.

Commons Briefing papers SN05980

Author: Vaughne Miller

Topics: EU law and treaties, International law, Marine environment

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