Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  2. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  3. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023
  4. Climate groups: G7 leaders 'backsliding' on climate
  5. Ukraine diplomat urges German MEPs to reject EU taxonomy
  6. EU asylum requests were climbing before Ukraine war
  7. Public sector journalists protest Macron tax plan
  8. EU engine ban splits Germany's coalition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting
  2. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  3. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  4. The euro — who's next?
  5. One rubicon after another
  6. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  7. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil
  8. Western public has 'moral' duty to Ukraine, Nato chief says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us