Talks on whether and how to bring Iceland into the European Union will take place among EU leaders on 17 June – which is, coincidentally, Iceland’s independence day.
According to sources close to RÚV, the meeting of EU leaders has on its schedule the decision of whether or not to begin formal accession talks with Iceland. It is not expected that Icesave will influence that decision.
17 June happens to be Iceland’s independence day. As such, Independence Party MP Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir addressed parliament yesterday, asking Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon to ask EU leaders to delay this meeting until after the holiday. She said that it would be “humiliating” for Icelanders to have a decision on beginning formal accession talks take place on this date. She added that the economic situation in Europe is worsening, and that the euro could be in trouble.
Steingrímur responded by saying first of all that the government has no intention of delaying 17 June the way Castro once delayed Christmas. He added the Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson would likely share Unnur’s dissatisfaction of when the meeting takes place. However, he admitted that he shared the MP’s concerns over economic conditions in Europe.
Should the EU vote to bring Iceland in, the matter would have to be put to a public referendum. So far, a significant majority of Icelanders are against joining the European Union.