Iceland accession to the EU

Iceland accession to the EU.

Iceland joined the the EEA in 1994. According to European External Action Service, the EEA agreement covers most aspects, including:

EU Agencies and programmes – Iceland participates in a number of them, although with rights to vote;

social & economic cohesion in the EU/EEA – Iceland contributes financially;

Iceland became a member of Europe's border-free Schengen area in December 2000. This means that Icelandic people are free to travel to other Schengen Member States without internal border controls. Also citizens from another Schengen Member States can freely enter to Iceland. Moreover, Iceland participates in The European Police Office (Europol) and Eurojust (an agency of the European Union (EU) dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters). Supports the EU’s foreign policy and aligns itself with relevant EU measures (European External Action Service). Also, Iceland is an important partner for the EU on common interests in the renewable energy and climate change, considering the Strategic importance of the EU's Arctic policy (European Commission, 2013). In conclusion we can say that Iceland has strong links with the European Union, although is still not acceded to it.

In 2009, Iceland has been severely affected by the global economic crisis. Icelandic krona has lost almost half its value. At that time, membership of the euro zone seemed attractive prospect. This country had a well-established and functioning democracy, which fully complied with political criteria for EU membership. (Kajtazović, T , 2014). Iceland corresponded the economic criteria and could be regarded as a functioning market economy. (European Commission 2013). For a long time, this country has been very eurosceptic, and only in 2009 started to think about joining the European Union.

It was believed that negotiations for accession to the European Union will not take long. EU Enlargement Commissioner Alli Rehn, stated that Iceland and Croatia could join the European Union at the same time, because Iceland has a strong democratic foundations and Iceland has adopted two thirds of European legislation. The most difficult issue in the negotiations he held a fishing quotas. Nevertheless, the Government of Iceland planned to conclude the negotiations by the end of 2010.

Baldur Þórhallsson, in Speech at the Association of Craft and Technology Industries (2013) stated that, Iceland’s electorate is not that sceptical towards membership of the EU – if we look at opinion polls from the last 25 years. Most of the Icelandic only in mid-2009, has become against to membership in the European Union.

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Iceland accession to the EU. (March 23, 2016). Reviewed on 17:30, April 16 2021