A docent in political science at the University of Iceland says it is “romantic nationalism” that prevents the average Icelander from every agreeing to join the European Union.
Eiríkur Bergmann, in his paper “The Subjectively Independent People,” he says that the discussion with regards to the EU is a reflection of a commonly held theme among Icelanders – them against foreign forces coming to exploit their resources.
As reported by Vísir, Bergmann says in part, “These particular ideas that Icelanders have about sovereignty and the nation have kept them apart from international cooperation in some ways. Actually, this same idea can be used to explain the [financial expansion into Europe] – this was not taking part in international work but rather taking over the world. And then when everything crashes down around us in one moment, this image changes but rests on the same foundation – now we are being attacked.”
Bergmann adds that this ideology will make things difficult when it comes to the possibility of Iceland joining the European Union.
While the majority of Icelanders are indeed against joining the EU, parliament last summer agreed to apply for membership.