From Iceland — Wording of EU Proposal Will Change

Wording of EU Proposal Will Change

Published May 18, 2009

Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told RÚV that the
wording of a proposal for a vote and referendum on whether or not
Iceland should apply for European Union membership will be changed
before it is submitted to parliament.
Specifically, he said that the language regarding the Europe Committee’s role will be made more exact. Skarphéðinsson also said he’s been meeting with different members of the opposition leadership, who’ve made a number of suggestions about the proposal. He has had the next few days will cover a lot of work on the draft.
The proposal as it stands now calls for the EU question to be put to a vote in parliament and, if passed, for a national referendum to be conducted. As mentioned previously, the proposal makes numerous provisos, especially with regards to sovereignty of fishing waters, sustainable living, and labor rights. It has received a mixed reaction from the opposition so far. Conservatives continue to point out that the Social Democrats and the Leftist-Greens are of two different opinions on the question, and Progressives, despite leaning strongly towards joining the EU during the campaign season, now contend the proposal doesn’t make a strong enough case for joining. The Citizen’s Movement, however, expressed satisfaction with the ruling coalition’s handling of the question, even though the party believes the Icelandic household is a more urgent issue at the moment.

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