Who is responsible for the Icelandic EU application?

Apparantly no one is willing to shoulder the responsibility for the Icelandic application for membership of the European Union. Today representatives from Heimssýn, the Icelandic organisation opposed to EU membership, met with Romanian MEP Christian Dan Preda explaining to him that Icelanders simply have no interest in becoming members. Preda emphasised that the application was not the decision of the EU but the Icelandic government when told that the best thing to do was to put the whole thing on ice.

Predas comments cannot be understood otherwise than as an attempt to wash his and the EUs hands of responsibility for the application. Similar comments were made by EU representatives to the media last autumn when opinion polls in Iceland were showing an increased opposititon among Icelanders to EU membership. According to the results or the latest one published at the beginning of March this year as much as 70 percent of Icelanders would reject membership in a referendum.

While the EU points the finger at the Icelandic government claiming it solely responsible for the application the social democrat Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson insists he is only executing the decision of the Icelandic parliament. Still everybody knows that it was his government that pushed the application through the parliament a year ago with a narrow majority. Within the government the junior coalition partner, the Left Greens, then points the finger at the senior partner the Social Democratic Alliance.

The Icelandic government's EU application has become such a mess that no one wants to be responisble for it and everyone points the finger at someone else.

Enginn vill bera ábyrgð á ESB-umsókninni (Heimssyn.is May 25, 2010)


Cast no shadow on Iceland's national holiday, thank you

The Sports and leisure council of the City of Reykjavík (ÍTR) today issued a resolution requesting the Icelandic government to see to it that a formal decision will not be taken on next June 17 to start accession negotiations with the European Union. On that day Icelanders celebrate their national holiday but on June 17, 1944 Iceland became an independent country. The European Council will hold its next meeting that same day and a decision on negotiations may be taken there. The resolution reads as following:

"The request is directed to the government of Iceland to see to it that a shadow will not be cast on celebrations of the national holiday of Icelanders with a decision to start accession negotiations between Iceland and the European Union on that day. This is a delicate issue and it should be pointed out that the majority of the Icelandic people are opposed to EU membership."

The ÍTR is a politically appointed council with representatives from all the political parties in Iceland and among other things responsible for the June 17 celebration in Reykjavík. Five out of six representatives supported the resolution. Only one rejected it, a representative from the ruling Social Democratic Alliance which is the only political party in Iceland that supports EU membership. The other representative of the social democrats in the ÍTR, however, initiated the resolution.

This is yet another token of how little support joining the EU has in Iceland. According to the last poll in Iceland 70 percent would reject membership in a referendum.

Varpi ekki skugga á 17. júní (Mbl.is May 21, 2010)


Withdraw the EU application say 75 percent

In an internet poll produced by the Icelandic radio station Bylgjan on May 6 some 75 percent said they wanted Iceland's application for membership of the European Union to be withdrawn. Of those 62 percent wanted the application to be withdrawn completely while 13 percent wanted it to be withdrawn and postponed. Only 25 percent said they were opposed to the idea of withdrawing the application.