The Independence Party demands EU application withdrawal

During its national congress last weekend the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) stressed its previous policy that the interests of Iceland were best secured outside the European Union. Furthermore the national congress demanded that the ongoing application for EU membership would be withdrawn immediately.

The same weekend the government's junior coalition partner, the Left Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) stressed its opposition to joining the EU at its party council congress and furthermore agreed that the EU accession process would be reviewed. A decision whether the party will support a withdrawal of the EU application was postponed until next autumn.


Icelanders want EU application scrapped

New public opinion poll was published yesterday showing a large majority of Icelanders in favour of scrapping the ongoing application for membership of the European Union. According to the poll 57.6 percent want the application withdrawn while only 24.3 percent want to proceed with it. If only those in favour or opposed are looked at 70 percent want the application withdrawn entirely.

This is the same percentage that would vote no to EU membership in a referendum according to polls (Iceland will not join the EU unless first accepted in a referendum).

A proposal to a resolution has been put forward in the Icelandic parliament to withdraw the EU application backed by MPs from all the political parties represented in the parliament except one, the social democrats.

Iceland to Win EU Backing to Start Talks, Draft Says (Bloomberg.com June 14, 2010)
Meirihluti vill draga umsókn um aðild til baka (Mbl.is June 14, 2010)
Tæp 60% vilja draga aðildarumsókn að ESB til baka (Vísir.is June 14, 2010)
Flestir vilja afturkalla ESB umsókn (Ruv.is June 14,2010)


MPs want EU application withdrawn

A proposal for a resolution will be put forward on Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, this weekend that the application for membership of the European Union should be withdrawn. It is initiated by Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, MP for the conservative Independence Party, and supported by a large group of MPs from various political parties represented in the parliament.

The Icelandic parliament narrowly accepted the EU application in July 2009. Some 33 MPs supported the application while 28 voted against it. Two MPs abstained. However, there is no majority for EU membership in the Icelandic parliament and has never been.

Many of the socialist MPs that voted in favour of the application were - and still are - against membership of the EU. But they supported the application to be able to form the current government with the pro-EU social democrats, the only pro-EU party in Iceland.

However, due to a extremely busy schedule of the parliament (dozens of large issues are on its schedule before its recession for the summer on next Tuesday and only few are bound to be addressed in time) it is not certain if the proposal will be voted on this time.

According to the latest public opinion poll in March this year 70 percent of Icelanders would vote against EU membership. An internet poll in May by the Icelandic radio station Bylgjan resulted in 75 percent saying the EU application should be withdrawn.

Umsókn um aðild að Evrópusambandinu verði dregin til baka (Mbl.is June 12, 2010)