From Iceland — Foreign Minister: EU "Key to Rebuilding" Iceland

Foreign Minister: EU “Key to Rebuilding” Iceland

Published April 16, 2010

Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told reporters that while he doesn’t believe Iceland joining the European Union would work like “magic” to transform the country, he does see it as key to rebuilding the economy.
Attending a conference on the European Union, Össur emphasized that he believes it important that the entire process be conducted professionally, whether people are for or against Iceland joining the EU.
“Joining the European Union is key to rebuilding Iceland,” he told attendees. “We need a stronger framework outside of our own labor and economic markets.”
He encouraged everyone, regardless of their position, to conduct themselves with respect on the matter. “We will respect each other’s opinions on this matter, and discuss what is best for Iceland in full detail.”
The day previous, an opinion piece running in the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende took an even stronger tone, saying that joining the EU was Iceland’s sole way out of the economic crisis.
Although Iceland applied for EU membership, most Icelanders remain unconvinced that we should join. If our application is accepted but the matter is defeated in referendum, we’re not joining. As EU ministers are showing greater interest in bringing Iceland into the EU, pro-EU voices such as the Social Democrats are stepping up their efforts to convince the public that joining the EU is a good idea.

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