German Parliament Greenlights Iceland-EU Talks


German Parliament Greenlights Iceland-EU Talks

The German parliament has decided with a vast majority to permit the European Union to begin accession talks with Iceland. Now there is nothing in the way of the Committee of Ministers from determining whether talks should begin.

Photo of Thingvellir by Páll Stefánsson.

While the matter was discussed in the German parliament, Michael Link, the spokesperson for the Liberal Democratic Party in European affairs, said the EU could learn from Iceland, for example, about its sustainable fishing, Fréttabladid reports.

“We must be careful during accession talks that the EU doesn’t force anything upon Icelanders in areas where they have come a long way,” Link said. However, Link emphasized that the EU should not make any compromises regarding whaling.

Representatives of all parties in the German parliament said they would welcome Iceland’s membership to the EU.

Germany is the only EU member country which uses its right, according to the Lisbon Treaty, to have its national parliament issue its approval before the country’s representative on the Committee of Ministers passes his or her vote on whether accession talks with a new prospective EU member state should begin.

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