The Social Democratic government of Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardottir is planning to formally submit an application for inclusion in the European Union Monday, July 27th in Brussels when the EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet. With all twenty of the Social Democratic MP’s and a handful of MP’s from other parties in favour of filing to join the EU the minimum majority of 32 supporting parliamentary members required to pass such a motion is just met.
Despite Iceland already being a member of the EEA and EFTA, joining the EU has been an ongoing point of contention between the Social Democratic party and the Left-Green’s that form the majority coalition therewith. Left-Greens have held firm to their belief that a national referendum is the reasonable route to take prior to seeking EU membership. According to RÚV, the suggestions put forth by the Left-Green party and MP’s in agreeance with their stance include a double referendum asking first whether or not membership negotiations should be launched and, secondly, whether the terms of the agreement reached with the EU should be accepted.
Parliament convened today at 10:00 to discuss EU membership. Members of the Althingi are rumoured to reach a final decision on the matter this weekend at the latest.