Iceland debates EU membership application

About 68 percent of Icelanders support the idea, proposed by Iceland’s Foreign Minister, Halldor Asgrimson, that the country should join the EU.

Iceland, together with Norway and Liechtenstein, is currently obliged to comply with the EU's legislation, but has no say in its decision-making process. This a result of the 1994 European Economic Area (EEA) agreements, which the three countries have concluded with the EU. These agreements are now seen as outdated and in need of revision. But the EEA is not high on the EU's agenda which is overwhelmed by its current enlargement to bring in up to ten new Member States by 2004.

Iceland's positive attitude towards the EU could be a catalyst to steer Norway in the same direction. Norway, which is reported to be feeling marginalised by the EU, is perceived in Brussels as a well qualified potential candidate (see

EURACTIV of 1 March 2002). Public opinion in the current Member States also regards Norway as a desirable EU member.


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