The autonomous region in the Kingdom of Denmark, Faroe Islands are located in the northern Atlantic Ocean almost in between Iceland and Scotland and represent parts of the underwater ridge protruding from the ocean. The archipelago consists of 18 islands, 17 of which are inhabited.
In 1948, when the inhabitants of Farer were going to follow the Iceland (which is close to them in ethnic, confessional, and historical respects) in pursuing independence, the Act on the Faroe Municipality was adopted, granting autonomy to the islands within Denmark. In 1973, when Denmark joined the European Economic Community, the Faroe Islands refused to enter it. Unlike Denmark itself, the main branches of the Faroe's economy are fishing, sheep breeding, and light industry.
The Faroes comprise 91% of the island population, which is much more ethnically consolidated than the rest of Denmark’s, where the proportion of immigrants from other countries (that sharply differ from Danes in ethnic terms) already exceeded 6% of the population in the early 2000s. The Faroese language differs from Danish, although they both belong to the Scandinavian subgroup, a part of the German group of the Indo-European language family. The Faroese language on the islands has an official status.
By the 1948 law, the scope of powers of the Faroe Islands’ authorities has been gradually expanded. As a result, nowadays the most of the policy issues fall under the regional government's purview, except for defence, justice, police, the national currency, and foreign policy. Nevertheless, in the autonomy there are parties that advocate the proclamation of independence.