From Iceland — Foreign Minister: "Not Practical" To Put EU Question Up For Parliamentary Vote

Foreign Minister: “Not Practical” To Put EU Question Up For Parliamentary Vote

Published May 12, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Anna Andersen

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson insists Iceland is not seeking accession, saying putting the matter up for parliamentary vote is “impractical”.

In an interview with Vísir, Gunnar Bragi repeated many of the points he has made previously about his decision to give European Union officials a letter announcing the end of Iceland’s accession process.

The letter has been met with resistance, both from EU officials and Icelanders alike. In fact, the EU still includes Iceland in its list of accession nations.

When asked why the matter was not put before parliament, Gunnar Bragi offered the following:

“Yes, there is no question that a ruling coalition with a 38-seat majority [out of 63] could have passed the matter through parliament,” he said. “And we all remember how that was a year ago [note: it died]. The opposition held the matter hostage and parliament with it. We simply believed there were more important matters worthy of parliamentary discussion. And this was a way that was clearly useful, legal and all that. It was actually a practical decision to go this way.”

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