Iceland No Longer EU Member Candidate

EU | March 13, 2015, Friday // 07:56|  views

Iceland has officially renounced its EU membership bid, according to an official statement.

The country's Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson has already informed the Latvian EU Presidency and the EU Commission and has stressed "the importance of continued strong relations and cooperation between Iceland and the EU, including on the basis of the EEA Agreement."

The EEA, which also includes Liechtenstein and Norway, provides for the inclusion of the three countries into the EU's regime of free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, though it leaves them outside the union.

Iceland's statement also reads the decision was taken following "extensive communications" between the government and the EU.

Reykjavik has requested that the EU "act in accordance with this from now on."

No clear reason is stated for the development, but Eurosceptic parties, which have been spearheading Icelandic politics over the past two years, do not consider EU accession to be a priority.

The country had been a member state since 2009, but had sought to withdraw its application over the past years, reiterating in January it would renew its efforts.

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Tags: Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland, EU, EEA, Liechtenstein, Norway


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