In the News: Iceland Wants to join the EU

The Parliament of Iceland has voted last week in favor of opening accession negotiation with the EU. The adhesion will then be voted in a popular referendum. Prognostics indicated that the country could join in 2011 or 2012, given that it already belongs to the European Economic Area (EEA) and has already adopted over 2/3 of the "Acquis Communautaire".

After the financial crisis that almost wiped the economy of this small island up north, the interest of joining the EU and the Euro has been revived. Well the more, the merrier? A strong democratic country, with high level of incomes, living in peace with Mother Nature... can only be an asset for the EU right? Well the language is going a tricky one: we will have to recruit some Icelandic/Maltese interpreters, Icelandic/Luxembourgeois translators...

Thinking a little bit more about it, I am not so sure that it is such a positive development for the Union. I am ill-at-ease that they decide to join when they are in deep problems. Why not before? Not to share.

I see accession a bit like a wedding: we share our destiny for the best and for the worst... but what to really think about a partner who wants to marry you only after loosing his/her job, large chunks of his/her savings, etc. I bet you will be a bit suspicious. What happened when their country get better (yes eventually it will)? Will they join the Eurosceptics, play foul to protect their interests...?

Oh come on, you know I am just dreaming out loud! That can happen! We have never dealt with islanders who benefited greatly from EU funds and then voted against Lisbon Treaty, or others who, when times got better, invented stories to renounce their contribution rebates they got when times weren't so rosy...


  1. They have cleared the first hurdle, but let us recall that Iceland is situated between Norway and Greenland.

    The former has twice rejected a concluded membership agreement and the latter is the only territory to have seceded from the European Union. Both after referendums.

    I would place no bets on Iceland actually joining the EU, but if they do, I would guess that they would hover somewhere along the the ideological lines of Sweden, Denmark and Britain with regard to the "construction of Europe".

  2. hmmm...,
    i always thought that the EU was not a compromise between nations but a vehicle driven by interest of global industrial conglomerates. the former being just a disguise.

  3. Hi. What you don't know is that Iceland was held "hostage" by the Independence party and it's ultra-nationalists, e.g. David Oddsson ex-PM. Therefore no application until now. The Independence party is now in opposition, thank GOD! We really should have joined in 1995!

  4. Held hostage is a interesting way of putting things. The Independence Party has traditionally received 35-40 percent of the votes. There has simply never been any political support in Iceland for EU membership, not even now when the parliament voted 33 against 28 to apply with at least 7 government MPs voting in favour despite the fact they oppose membership just in order to save the government. There has also never really been any public support for joining the EU. At least far from enough to make it likely that Iceland will ever actually join the EU.

    Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson

  5. And you dont have to listen to Hjortur Gudmundsson, he is notorious for taking things out of context to suit his POW.

  6. Dear mister anonymous. The fact that I'm not afraid to write here and anywhere else under my full name should be a proof enough that what you accuse me of is simply wrong. On the other hand, the fact that you have choosen to put these accusations forward anonymously indicates that you know them to be false. By attacking me personally instead of simply dealing with the subject matter also does not indicate that you have a very good cause to defend.

    Best wishes,
    Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson