(Icelandic government press release:) Iceland welcomes the opinion of the European Commission on Iceland’s application for EU membership, which recommends the opening of accession negotiations.
In the opinion, Iceland’s adherence to EU´s common values is acknowledged and Iceland is described as a deep-rooted democracy with a functioning free market economy based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights. The Commission acknowledges the efforts made by the government in stabilizing the economy in the wake of the global financial crisis and laying a sound foundation for sustainable economic recovery. The Commission also identifies areas that will be the subject of the upcoming accession talks.
“I appreciate the confidence in Iceland expressed by the EU Commission in this balanced, constructive and broadly speaking very positive report. It confirms that Iceland fulfills the Copenhagen criteria and is well prepared for accession talks due to its already deep integration with the European Union. It also points to many of the very issues this government is already taking action on, such as the strengthening of supervision of financial institutions,” said Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson.
Minister Skarphedinsson said that the Commission opinion is a significant step for Iceland on its road towards Europe. “My hope is that the EU Ministerial Council will, in the near future, decide to open accession talks with Iceland. My government will approach the coming negotiations in good faith and willingness to find common solutions that guarantee Iceland’s interests while respecting EU principles.”
The opinion of the EU Commission on Iceland can be found http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/key-documents/opinion-iceland_2010_en.htm