With or Without EU?


With or Without EU?

By: Ásta Andrésdóttir
Páll Stefánsson

With the government’s intent to terminate the negotiation process,the nation is once again up in arms when it comes to the question of all questions: Should Iceland join the European Union?

Published in the 2014 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.14. By Jón Sigurðsson. Translated by Alex Elliott. Photos by Páll Stefánsson.

It has now been half a decade since Iceland made its application for European Union membership. The discussion in Iceland about the EU and the accession process took an unexpected turn at the end of February 2014, thanks to a proposal from the Minister for Foreign Affairs for an immediate and permanent dissolution of the membership negotiations. After the general election of 2013 it became clear that there was a sizeable parliamentary majority against continuing the accession talks. Both ruling coalition parties—the Independence Party and the Progressive Party—and all their leading figures in the government are in agreement on this. On the other hand, there are several things in both parties’ political manifestos, not least in speeches made by their leaders in last year’s election battle, which give the public reason to believe that their plan was to allow the people a voice on the issue in a referendum. This has resulted in widespread misunderstanding and infighting in the country, and many who voted for the governing parties, especially the Independence Party, are expressing disappointment at their party leadership’s support for the foreign minister’s proposal.

You can read the remainder of this article in the April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.14. Five times a year the print edition of Iceland Review & Atlantica brings you a wealth of articles on all aspects of life in Iceland including Páll Stefánsson’s latest images of the country’s majestic landscape. Click here to subscribe.