Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland’s Prime Minister and leader of the Icelandic Social Democrats issued the following statement on the decision of the Parliament to start European Union accession negotiations for membership.
“The Parliament has decided that Iceland will apply for membership to the European Union. This is an historic decision for Iceland. Today’s vote was likely one of my most enjoyable due to the importance I attach to this issue for Iceland.
We will now deliver a formal application to the EU Presidency in the coming days and begin the process of preparing for accession negotiations. We will do our utmost to ensure broad participation and access for all political parties and interested parties in Iceland during the course of the negotiation process. We will also disseminate information on the benefits and costs of EU membership to the general public to ensure an informed choice can be made in a national referendum on a prospective Treaty of Accession.
Iceland and the 27 member states of the EU share a common democratic and cultural heritage. Iceland has been an active participant in European cooperation for many decades. As a Nordic welfare state and a member of the European Economic Area and Schengen Cooperation, Iceland is well prepared to discuss the conditions and terms for full membership with EU member states and institutions.”