EU Membership Negotiations Continue

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EU Membership Negotiations Continue

Iceland continues to tread down the ladder of rules and regulations in its membership negotiations with the EU, often introducing bargaining positions uniquely designed to benefit the country.

The negotiations for Iceland’s membership to the EU relate to 33 chapters in the EU rulebook, in addition to a chapter about institutions and others.

A total of 11 chapters have been opened since the material membership negotiations commenced in June last year.

Negotiations for eight of the chapters have been completed, according to Pressan.is.

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Chief negotiatior for Iceland, Stefán H. Jóhannesson. Photo by MFA

Discussions are scheduled to commence in the following categories in the first half of the year, most of which fall under the conditions set by the EEC treaty, and the terms and conditions have been sent to the EU’s executive committee and EU Member States.

Iceland’s bargaining position in the negotiations with the EU is clear in several articles, including Iceland’s right to maintain a government monopoly on alcohol and tobacco and the possession of oil and natural resources.

Iceland is adamant in its disposition that membership should not affect the country’s ownership of natural resources and Iceland’s intention to fulfill the EU’s minimum stocking of oil, by gradually reducing the use of oil while maintaining the current level of oil on stock.

Iceland is interested in taking advantage of the social and work affairs policies granting Iceland access to the European Social Fund, a fund which supports actions to reduce unemployment.

Iceland’s bargaining position concerning foreign affairs, security and defense matters remains the same as before. 

Iceland has always maintained its exclusion from active warfare and places significant emphasis on maintaining its current policy as a military-free country, Pressan.is reports.

The united safety and defense policy never exceeds individual state’s policies, and each member state decides if it chooses to participate in cooperative defense operations and peacekeeping projects, according to EU stipulations.

 Further elaborations on Iceland’s bargaining positions can be found on a Ministry for Foreign Affairs website on the membership application.  Terms and conditions of the negotiations are available to on the website.

JB