From Iceland — EU Would Gain Little From Iceland, Says EU Official

EU Would Gain Little From Iceland, Says EU Official

Published January 31, 2011

Iceland does not have much to offer the European Union, says head of the legal service of the Council of Ministers for the EU.
Jean-Claude Piris, in an interview with newspaper Fréttablaðið, said he believes Iceland would stand a lot to gain by joining the EU, but he doesn’t believe the country would be of any particular benefit to the organisation, and that furthermore the timing of the accession talks could be better.
Piris also emphasized that even large countries aren’t able to throw their weight about – each nation has an equal amount of influence. “When you’re in the club making decisions, you’re in a stronger position than being on the outside,” he said. “That’s the difference.”
On the subject of Iceland itself, he said, “The EU can live without Iceland taking part, and its accession would not change much for the EU. One could also ask whether the EU will let Iceland in. And what Iceland has to offer the EU. Of course Iceland is an ally of the EU, and has many friends, and it won’t cause any great problems to let Iceland in.”
Iceland’s accession talks have been for the most part smooth, experiencing minor bumps recently when the country raised its mackerel quota beyond EU regulations, prompting an import ban on the fish throughout the EU.

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