A proposal has been put forward in Parliament on the withdrawal of Iceland‘s application for accession to the European Union and on entrusting the Government with strengthening cooperation with the EU and the European states.
At the same time, it is proposed that a new application for membership to the EU will not be submitted without a prior referendum on whether the people of Iceland aim to join the Union. The proposal is in line with the Government's policy that it is in Iceland's best interest to remain outside the EU.
Since the Government came to power in May 2013, it has implemented its European policy, which was stated as follows in the Governmental platform:
“Accession negotiations with the EU will be put on hold and the status of the negotiations and developments within the EU will be assessed. The assessment will be submitted to Althingi for debate and presented to the nation. Accession negotiations will not be continued without a prior referendum.”
Negotiations with the EU were put on hold in June 2013 and the Icelandic negotiating committee and negotiating teams dissolved. An assessment by the University of Iceland's Institute of Economic Studies of the status of the accession negotiations and the developments within the Union was presented in Parliament on 19 February.
Comments to the proposal state, that in light of all of the above, the government considers it necessary that there should be no doubt as to the status of the membership application. It is therefore best, considering the governing parties' policy and with regard to the Institute of Economic Studies‘ report, to withdraw the membership application. At the same time, the proposal stresses the importance of strengthening the cooperation with the EU and the European States, who are, and continue to be, Iceland's primary partners in many areas, based on the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
Source: Ministry of foreign affairs