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Thursday, 08 July 2010

Parliament green-lights Iceland's EU accession bid

The European Parliament has welcomed the prospect of Iceland joining the EU in the near future but also called on the country to cease all whaling as a prerequisite, in a resolution adopted on Wednesday (7 July). MEPs backed the recent decision by EU leaders to open accession talks with the Nordic country, which, following the devastation of its banking system in the global financial crisis, is hoping to join the bloc by 2012.The resolution, drafted by Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda (European People's Party), notes the country's "strong democratic culture" and states that Icelandic membership would allow the EU to play a more active role in the Arctic region. Iceland's membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) means that many of its laws are already in line with those of the EU. However, negotiations will be required in a number of policy areas – namely agriculture, fisheries, taxation, economic and monetary policy and external relations. The organisation and functioning of the financial supervisory system – "the key institutional weaknesses of the country's economy" – will require particularly substantial reforms, MEPs said.

SOurce: Euractiv