Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

EU bid causes tension in Iceland government

  • The euro zone crisis has caused concern among Iceland's Left Green party, which now questions the island-nation's bid to join the EU (Photo: European Commission)

Iceland's coalition government risks splitting up over how to handle the country's EU bid and the euro crisis.

Foreign minister Ossur Skarphedinsson, from the Social Democratic Alliance party, told national radio on Monday (13 August) that EU membership is integral to the left-wing coalition's platform.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We made an agreement, which the Social Democratic Alliance agreed to as well as the other government party. If the situation arises that the government parties feel they can't stick to that agreement, we of course have to totally re-evaluate the situation," he said, AFP reports.

The foreign minister in April presented his annual report on EU accession negotiations to parliament.

"When it comes to Iceland's interests we are all a part of the same team," he said at the time.

But for their part, some in Left Green party, who had always opposed joining the EU, want to reconsider their coalition deal on EU membership in the context of the euro storm.

The Left Green party agreed to EU accession talks but on condition that a referendum among the island's 320,000 people would determine the final say on membership.

Katrin Jakobsdottir, the minister of education, science and culture and a Left Green member, said that Europe’s political and economic problems have since generated a sense of uncertainty that can no longer be ignored.

"It is clear that this [financial] uncertainty has considerable affects on the [accession] process in Iceland," she said.

Formal negotiations on Iceland's EU membership started in July 2010.

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele at the time said Iceland's membership would bring it "economic and monetary stability and a voice at the EU decision-making table."

Iceland, which was one of the first causalities of the financial crisis in 2008, currently enjoys low unemployment and a trade surplus.

It exports some 59 percent of its GDP and had also allowed its banks to fail in the wake of the crisis. The next parliamentary elections will be held in 2013.

Turkey accuses Merkel of racism

Turkish foreign minister said German chancellor's call to end EU accession talks was "same rhetoric as racist parties".

News in Brief

  1. Spanish Court declares Catalan referendum law void
  2. EU to keep 'Dieselgate' letter secret
  3. No deal yet on Mediterranean alliance for EU agencies
  4. EU Commission condemns Maltese journalist's murder
  5. Poland denies wrongdoing over forest logging
  6. Risk to asylum kids in EU increasing, says charity
  7. Schroeder warns of Turkey and Russia drifting towards China
  8. EU parliament wants equal pay for posted workers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks
  2. Nepal troops arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency
  3. Is Banking Authority HQ the Brexit 'booby prize'?
  4. EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions
  5. No sign of Brexit speed-up after May-Juncker dinner
  6. EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  7. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says
  8. Malta in shock after car bomb kills crusading journalist