From Iceland — Proposal To Possibly End EU Talks In The Works

Proposal To Possibly End EU Talks In The Works

Published February 20, 2014

The ruling coalition is preparing a parliamentary proposal to unfreeze accession talks with the European Union – and possibly end them altogether. RÚV reports that the proposal could hit the floor of parliament as early as next week. Supported by both the Progressive Party and the Independence Party, no final decision has yet been taken on whether or not it will be submitted, let alone the exact details of the proposal. According to sources close to RÚV, the purpose of the proposal might not even be to completely end accession talks once and for all – it could propose an even longer-term pause in accession talks. Either way, the main purpose is “to send a clear message to EU leadership,” the source is quoted as saying. Iceland was in accession talks with the EU until shortly before parliamentary elections last April, when the previous government – comprised of the Social Democrats and Left-Greens – was in power. After the ardently anti-accession Progressives were voted into power, those talks were put on ice. Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, who hails from the Progressives, has stated that he is against Iceland joining the EU, and does not believe that continuing talks should be up for referendum – despite the fact that most Icelanders want talks to continue.

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