Parliamentary discussion on the Foreign Ministry’s proposal regarding applying for European Union membership is not expected to conclude this month.
In fact, the discussion will probably not conclude until some time in July, as over 80 different interest groups have expressed the desire to provide their input on the proposal, which would have parliament vote first on whether or not to put the EU question to a national referendum and, depending on how that vote goes, to vote on whether or not to apply for EU membership. At this time, talks are still continuing with the Independence Party and the Progressive Party.
Public opinion appears to be evenly divided, with the pro-EU side arguing that membership would stabilize the economy by providing Iceland with a more solid currency, among other things, and the anti-EU side arguing that Iceland’s resources – e.g. the fishing waters – would have to be shared with the rest of Europe, as well as fears that unemployment would rise.