Some basic facts about Iceland and the European Union

  • Iceland is not a member of the European Union and has furthermore never applied for membership of the Union. It is on the other hand a member of EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, and of the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • There are five political parties in Iceland represented in the Icelandic parliament, the Althing: The Independence Party, the Social Democratic Alliance, the Progressive Party, the Left-Green Movement and the Liberal Party.

  • Only one of the Icelandic political parties is in favour of joining the EU, the Social Democratic Alliance. However, the party is split on the issue with about 2/3 in favour of EU membership and 1/3 against it. Furthermore joining the Union is not on the party's agenda and has actually never been.

  • According to opinion polls there is a 50/50 situation in Iceland when it comes to the question whether to join the EU or not. However, few years back the pro-EU movement was usually leading, and sometimes even with around 2/3 of the voters.

  • The Progressive Party is sometimes believed by some people outside Iceland to be a pro-EU party but that is not correct. The chairman of the party is indeed pro-EU. But the vice-chairman is against EU membership and the same goes for vast majority of the members of the party.

  • The present coalition government in Iceland is formed by the Independence Party and the Progressive Party. It is set to be in power until the spring of 2007 and is utterly against joining the EU according to the pact between the two parties.

  • In short nothing indicates that Iceland is on its way to join the EU in the years to come.