Applying for EU membership not the government's policy

Iceland's Finance Minister, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, gave a statement at a press meeting on Tuesday that it was neither his government's policy to apply for membership of the European Union nor join up. It was merely the decision of the country's parliament to send in an application.

This Sigfússon said in the wake of recent comments by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Jón Bjarnason, to the newspaper Morgunblaðið that the whole accession process should be stopped since it was not just simple negotiations as the Icelandic people had be told.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was also answering questions at the press meeting and underlined Sigfússon's statement by saying that the Fisheries and Agriculture Minister had an obligation to execute decisions by the parliament just like other government ministers.

This is in line with previous comments this year by Iceland's Foreign Minister that the EU application was not  the government's policy but only the parliament's decision and that the purpose of the application was primarily to see what the EU had to offer but not to join.

„Ekki stefna ríkisstjórnarinnar að sækja um aðild að ESB“ - Hver sótti þá um aðild Steingrímur? (Pressan.is August 24, 2010)