Icelandic companies split over EU membership

The Confederation of Icelandic Employers, the umbrella organisation of all Icelandic companies, are split in two over the EU. The leadership of the CIE has been growing more and more EU oriented in the last weeks and months but ths CIE itself has never had any official policy towards the EU. Instead it has been left to the member organisations to form their own policy towards the issue. There have been very mixed opinions with the fisheries firmly opposed, the leadership of the industry very much in favour and everything there between. The leadership of the CIE has very much wanted to use it in favour of EU membership and therefore organised a special vote among all the companies which are members of its members organisations.

The vote was carried out November 24 - December 5. The results were that 43% want the CIE to promote EU membership while 40% do not support that move. 17% did not take a postion. Note that the size of the companies was taken into the picture, that is how much voting weigh it has inside the organisation it is a member of which is determined by its size. And notabene this is not a poll but a vote among all the member companies. The question put to them was this: "Does your company want the CIE to work towards an Icelandic membership of the EU and the adoption of euro as the currency of Iceland?" The possibilities were yes, no and does not take a position.

The results for the fisheries were extremely negative, 94-97% of companies in the fishery sector did not favour the CIE to work towards EU membership. At the same time it was very interesting that 41% of industry companies did not favour such move either while 52% did. The leadership of the industry has long been very pro-EU. But that organisation is obvioulsy also very split on the issue. Even during hard times like these. There has been some discussion lately in Iceland why these results have not been published before by the CIE. Obviously because this vote was supposed to give the CIE a reason to work towards EU membership but of course these results certainly will not.