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Iceland is out of the EU – it was too easy

The new elected government of Iceland announced that they put the negotiations with the European Union on hold. There was a press conference yesterday in Brussels with Commissioner Füle responsible for EU enlargement and the new Foreign Minister of Iceland, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.

It goes without saying that any European country has the freedom to decide what it wants and what not besides being involved in international organisations and corresponding rules. Not to speak of the globalised world and the effects it brings to every country. And of course the EU can not force countries to enter the club. But the Union should also handle the opportunity of membership not so easy-going.

In this special incident the EU itself looks like the looser. The Commissioner frankly said that

It was not easy for me as a person.

 And still he committed that

We remain fully committed to continuing and completing the process.

 That sounds like no matter what you want and when you want it, we play the game with you. This is not the right way to behave. The European Union should make clear from the very beginning that the membership is something exceptional and special.

As the entry to the European Union is a process which last for years it is not easy to say at the very beginning that entry will be definitely the result in the end. But the Union could make clear that if a country postpones the negation process or even steps out of the entry talks it automatically looses the right to continue the talks or reenter for a certain period of time.

Being a member of the EU with all the benefits should be a privilege for a country and the membership a goal to achieve. Especially in time of crisis when people start to question the existence of the EU itself, the EU should behave more self-confident and courageous.

It is not very easy to convince people of the benefits of the EU and the successes already achieved. That is even more a reason to show that being member of the EU is very special. Especially when you compare it to other regions in the world.

So if countries decide to enter the club they have to know what happens if the step out of the negotiations no matter whether there is a change of government in the meantime or not. The EU should not allow to behave like Iceland right now. Or better said, Iceland could behave like this but then the negotiation table is closed for the next 5 or 10 years.

Post picture by siggimus CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Published inEuropean Union

6 Kommentare

  1. Nonfundamentalist Nonfundamentalist

    EU must become much more lucrative to proud icelanders. Iceland has nothing to fear geopolitically. They know they can deal with their own issues without outside help. Even economic problems, with the support of fellow nordic countries as was case with the economic crisis. Only way to get Iceland on board is to kill EFTA and link Schengen membership with EU membership.

    • kielspratineurope kielspratineurope

      But those last issues are connected to my approach. You cannot pick the raisins. Either you want to belong to the club with all its benefits and restrictions or not. And if not then you have to do everything on your own. I know that is maybe not practical in real politics but politicians should start to think about not being too laissez-faire with the EU.

  2. Iwantout Iwantout

    How terrible, a national population saying clearly they do not want to be part of the EU and the politicians following their wishes. The stance of the EU is the talks on accession should continue regardless. Reveals exactly the EU view on democracy.

    Can’t wait until we get our vote in 2017.

    • kielspratineurope kielspratineurope

      No, problem. If you wanna leave feel free to do so but do not come back after some month and say you want to get in again. That’s what the EU should do – you’re all grown up and are able to make responsible decisions. If you feel like leaving or staying out, do it but do not expect the EU to open the door whenever you knock again. And I promise you if you leave you’ll knock again.

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