European Parliament calls for ‘informed EU discussion’ in Iceland

The European Parliament yesterday ratified a committee report from February on Iceland’s EU accession talks. The report and parliamentary debate were generally positive on Iceland; although there is concern about the discussion surrounding the EU in the country.

The report authors write that the discussion about whether Iceland should take up the Canadian dollar or the euro underlines the need for informed discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of European Union membership.

Stefan Füle, the EU expansion commissioner, said he is happy with the way negotiations with Iceland are proceeding — although very difficult issues remain to be tackled. Those issues include fisheries, which will be discussed later this year, RÚV reports.

The report’s main author, MEP, Christian Dan Preda, said he totally agrees with Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir’s assessment that Iceland’s two main options are to either join the EU and take the euro as its currency, or to give up sovereignty by unilaterally taking another currency and the monetary policy that comes with it.

British Conservative MEP Charles Tannock said in parliament that he thinks Iceland could be a “model EU state” and that Icelandic membership might hopefully persuade Norway to apply.

The report notes that the ongoing “mackerel war” is the biggest block to Icelandic membership and that there are no other political, economic or legislative barriers to membership.

The European Parliament ratified the progress report with 596 votes against 52.

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