Tuesday

22nd Jan 2019

Iceland dissolves EU accession team

  • Reykjavik is not keen on joining the EU anymore (Photo: Wikipedia)

The Icelandic government has dissolved its EU accession team after deciding to give up on talks to join the Union.

"We have dissolved our task force and negotiation teams, and there won't be any other summits," foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told the Icelandic parliament, the Althing, on Thursday (12 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The government is in agreement on this subject. The process has been suspended. But nothing has been closed down, and we will improve our communication and strengthen our ties with the EU without actually joining," he added.

Sveinsson's centre-right and eurosceptic coalition promised to end the EU talks when it took power in April, with its EU negotiators put on prolonged vacation since May.

Iceland launched its EU bid after suffering a financial meltdown in 2009, but the country's economy later recovered and public opinion turned against the EU.

For its part, the European Commission had nurtured hopes that Iceland's new government might change its mind.

Back in July, commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said the door was still open, but noted that the "clock is ticking."

The main sticking point in EU relations is fisheries.

Reykjavik has insisted on keeping high mackarel quotas amid EU threats to impose trade sanctions.

A meeting on the subject on Sunday in the Icelandic capital failed to reach a compromise.

Iceland has unilaterally issued a quota of 123,000 tonnes of mackerel for this year and demands a 17 percent share of the EU total catch.

During a visit to Brussels in July, its Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, said the EU should try to replenish its fish stocks instead of pressing Iceland to catch fewer fish.

He offered "assistance" on replenishment and urged EU countries to base their arguments on "science," saying that more fish are migrating northward due to warmer seas.

'EU clock is ticking,' Iceland told

The EU Tuesday said a recalcitrant Iceland could still join the bloc if it wanted but at the same time noted it is likely to sanction it for its "unilateral" fishing policy.

Iceland leader snubs EU membership

Iceland’s bid to join the EU has come to an end, Iceland’s independence party leader Bjarni Benediktsson has said.

Iceland says final EU goodbye

Iceland has definitively dropped its EU membership bid, nearly six years after having made the demand.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

News in Brief

  1. EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine
  2. Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases
  3. Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter
  4. Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes
  5. France summons Italian ambassador over colonial remark
  6. May U-turn on fee for EU nationals in UK
  7. French data watchdog gives Google €50m fine
  8. EU hits Russians with sanctions over Salisbury attack

Opinion

EU should brace for a more authoritarian Erdogan

The new blend of religious nationalism will be more anti-West and anti-EU, as Brussels has anything but leverage on Turkey. The first signs of this strong rhetoric are already visible.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  2. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B
  3. European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups
  4. What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?
  5. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  6. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP
  7. Brexit power grab by MPs hangs over May's 'Plan B'
  8. Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us