Iceland's conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), the country's by far largest party according to polls (32-39 percent), restated its previous policy at its national congress this weekend that the EU accession negotiations should be stopped. The policy also says that for the issue to be addressed again there would have to be a clear will among the people for EU membership and it would have to be accepted in a special referendum.
The chairman of the Independence Party, Bjarni Benediktsson, today stressed that this policy, however, put no obligation on the party to hold such a referendum and by that revisit the issue. The interference of the EU delegation to Iceland in the domestic discussion on EU membership is furthermore protested and the policy that the EU Info Centres in the capital city of Reykjavík and the northern town of Akureyri should be closed was also accepted.
The Independence Party is widely expected to be the leading party of the next government after the general elections in Iceland in late April this year. Previously the Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn), which has been gaining increased support in recent polls (15-20 percent), had accepted similar policy regarding the EU accession talks at its national congress two weeks earlier.
Two-thirds of Icelanders have been against joining the EU according to every single opinion poll published in Iceland since the summer of 2009 or for more than three and a half year. According to the latest one published on February 13 some 63.3 percent oppose EU membership while less than a quarter support
it or 24.2 percent.
Vilja hætta aðildarviðræðum (Rúv.is February 23, 2013)
Most Icelanders continue to reject EU membership