Iceland

Icelanderw want to withdraw EU membership application

A new poll published today (Nov. 17, 2011) in Iceland by the Icelandic polling company MMR for the local think tank Andriki.

  • 50.5 percent of Icelanders want to withdraw the application, 35.3 percent want to carry on with it and 14.2 percent have not made up their minds.

  • Of those who favour withdrawal of the application 38.8 percent strongly favour withdrawal while 23.8 percent strongly oppose it.

  • The poll was produced November 10-14, 879 people were asked.

Sources: http://www.mbl.is/frettir/innlent/2011/11/16/fleiri_vilja_haetta_vid_umsokn/ http://andriki.is/post/12898554715

Hjörtur Jónas Guðmundsson”, hjorturg@hi.is

Iceland saved by its krona

At the same time as Greece is in a deep financial crisis Iceland is lifting itself out of its crisis.

The public debt is expected to be halved by 2014, and economic growth is at 2.5 per cent. But the gigantic EU bail-out packets for Greece have not had any effect.

”For us it has been important that we have our own currency, ” says Steingrímur J. Sigfússon to Standpunkt, the journal of Norway’s No to EU.

Iceland : Increasing majority against EU membership (64,5%)

On August 11, a new opinion poll was published in Iceland, produced by Capacent Gallup for Heimssýn, the Icelandic No movement. According to it 64,5 percent oppose joining the European Union while 35,5 per cent favour it, measuring only those who either said yes or no.

In a similar poll, produced by Capacent Gallup for Heimssýn in June 57,3 percent rejected EU membership while 42,7 percent favoured it. According to that opposition to joining the EU has increased this summer while support for membership has declined.

For more than two years every single opinion poll in Iceland has shown a vast majority of Icelanders opposed to EU membership.

Source:
Vaxandi andstaða við aðild að ESB (Mbl.is August 11, 2011)

Iceland: 57 per cent No to EU membership in june 2011

Despite the fact that Iceland’s government has applied officially for EU membership, 57,3 per cent of the voters would vote NO in a referendum. 51 per cent would have the government retract the application for EU membership.

Source: Heimssyn

German Parliament voted on Iceland's EU membership

The Bundestag on Thursday (22 April) is set to hold a landmark vote on European affairs, with the first binding EU recommendation for its government to follow in respect to Iceland’s membership bid to join the bloc.

Although not a controversial one, the vote is a premiere in German politics, after lawmakers acquired a greater say on the government’s EU policies. These extra powers were key for the Bundestag last year to approve the Lisbon Treaty, the EU’s new legal framework, which the German constitutional court said did not provide enough parliamentary oversight.

from EUobserver

problems:

  1. Icelanders don’t want to hear about EU anymore
  2. Post-Lisbon Germany has a privileged status among EU members. German Parliament alone has special status among Parliaments of other EU memberstates.

No one is fighting for EU membership in Iceland

April 9th 2010

Former FM: No one is fighting for EU membership in Iceland

Former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, said to the German journalist Clemens Bomdorf yesterday (April 8) that no one was really fighting for membership of the European Union in Iceland any longer. Membership would probably be rejected in a referendum and it was therefore even better to postpone the EU application rather than to continue the process in total uncertainty.

Gísladóttir is one of the most outspoken supporters of EU membership in Iceland and former chairman of the Social Democratic Alliance, the only political party in Iceland that favours membership. With these comments she joins a growing number of EU supporters in Iceland that have openly aired their worries about the EU application and predicted that it will be rejected by the Icelandic people.

thanks to EU news from Iceland

70 percent would reject Iceland's EU membership

The newest opinion poll in Iceland on membership of the European Union published earlier this month suggests that about 70 percent of Icelanders would vote NO if a referendum was held now, up more than 8 percent since September 2009. Of those 51 percent were absolutely certain they would reject membership. At the same time only about 30 percent said they would vote YES.

The same poll also asked if people were in favour of EU membership with 60 percent saying they were not and only 24.4 percent saying they were. If those undecided are excluded the outcome is pretty much the same as in the referendum question mentioned above.

The vast majority in all social groups are opposed to EU membership whether with regard to sex, age, education, income, residense, or political affiliation with only one exception, the majority of the voters of the social democrats favour membership.

Source: The results of the Capacent poll

tnx to: EU News From Iceland

Iceland Icesave referendum approaching fast

Despite some politicians’ hopes that renegotiation of the Icesave deal would get in the way, it now seem highly likely the referendum will go ahead as planned with polls consistently suggesting the December law will be rejected by voters.

An information booklet on the referendum will be delivered to every house in Iceland and information can also be found on http://www.thjodaratkvaedi.is/ (brochure Yes or No available even in English => download .pdf here).

thanks to IceNews

Referendum date is set on Saturday, 6th of March 2010. Ides of March (15th) slightly rescheduled…

Iceland's stable NO to EU

New poll in Iceland on the attitude of the Icelandic people towards EU membership produced by Capacent for the Farmers Association of Iceland. The results are as follows:

33.2 percent in favour of EU membership (thereof 9.4 percent totally in favour, 7.2 percent very much in favour and 16.6 percent rather in favour).

56 percent opposed to EU membership (thereof 28.4 percent totally opposed, 11.3 percent very much opposed and 16.3 percent rather opposed).

26.8 percent trust the Icelandic government to defend the interests of the Icelandic people in Iceland’s accession process to the EU. 58 percent do not trust the Icelandic government to defend the interests of the Icelandic people in Iceland’s accession process to the EU.

A total of 1.173 people were polled with 68.7 percent participating.

This is in line with previous polls.

Thanks to Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson from (“EU news from Iceland”)[http://eunews.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-poll-on-eu-membership-in-iceland.html].

Ruling Left-Greens confirm EU opposition

The party council of the Icelandic political party The Left Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) today confirmed the party’s opposition to Iceland joining the European Union. The Left Greens have since the foundation of the party been opposed to joining the EU but decided not to oppose an application being sent to Brussels after the general election in the spring of 2009 in order to form a government with the pro-EU Social Democratic Alliance. Since opposition to the joining the EU has grown rapidly among Icelanders with about two thirds against the move according to the latest polls. The EU application, which was only narrowly approved in the Icelandic parliament in July 2009, has also been very unpopular within the LGM. The party council is the highest authority of the LGM between national congresses.

The party council’s statement reads:

“The party council confirms the opposition of the Left Green Movement to possible membership of Iceland of the European Union. Despite an application for membership has been delivered it is the utmost will of the party council that Iceland shall remain an independent state outside the EU. The party council of the Left Green Movement urges ministers, MPs and members of the Left Greens across the country to honour the party’s policy to oppose membership of the EU and to fight hard for the independence.”

This is seen as yet another token of the split between the government parties on the EU issue.

Support Iceland

Statement from the executive board of The People’s Movement against the EU in Denmark

The People’s Movement against the EU finds it reprehensible that the Danish Government wants to put pressure on the Icelandic population by threatening to withdraw Danish loan offers, if Icelanders say “no” to pay 27 billion kroner (4 billion euro) to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

It is unfair that Iceland’s population should pay an amount to cover the reckless borrowing that people in these countries have recorded in Icelandic banks. Denmark must therefore act to ensure that the British and the Dutch government cover the losses themselves. This applies all the more so as the British government during his time even recommended municipalities to incorporate Icelandic loans.

As the British newspaper Financial Times writes in an editorial on 7th January, the amount is of a negligible size for the two large countries, whereas it would be a disaster for Icelanders to pay it.

From the website int.folkebevaegelsen.dk

Iceland president rejects EU savings deal

Iceland’s president rejected a bill to repay Britain and the Netherlands more than $5 billion their savers lost when Icelandic banks collapsed, forcing a referendum on the issue. The move threatens vital economic aid and the country’s EU accession bid.

President Olafur Grimsson’s refusal to sign the unpopular Icesave bill into law on 5 January threw the country into a political crisis and put its hopes of joining the European Union in jeopardy.

The government said a referendum would be held as soon as possible. The outcome is highly uncertain with opinion polls showing almost 70% of voters oppose the bill.

more in the EurActiv article

And not to forget - People of Iceland don’t want Iceland to become another member of EU.

New poll showing majority against EU membership

One more opinion poll showing majority of Icelanders opposed to joining the European Union was published today. According to the poll 54 percent of Icelanders now oppose membership while only 29 percent favour the step. 17 percent are uncertain. If those uncertain are excluded 65 percent are opposed to EU membership and 35 percent in favour.

this and more on EU News From Iceland thanks to Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson, sagnfræðinemi in the Aðalstjórn of Heimssyn

Majority of Icelanders don't want the euro or the EU

The majority of Icelanders don’t want to adopt the euro or join the European Union according to the results of a new opinion poll published yesterday. The poll was produced by the company Miðlun for the news website Pressan.is. The question asked was: “What currency arrangement do you think would best suit Iceland?” Some 55 percent wanted a policy which does not involve EU membership.

Only 24 percent said they though Iceland should adopt the euro by first joining the EU. However, 26 percent said they thought it was best for Iceland to keep its own currency, the króna. Some 29 percent said Iceland should adopt a foreign currency unilaterally, of those only 9 percent wanted the euro. Finally 21 percent were undecided.

If the undecided are excluded some 70 percent of Icelanders do not want to adopt the euro by joining the EU. Only about 30 percent are in favour of that. Even if the 9 percent who want the euro unilaterally are put together with those who want the single currency by first joining the EU it only slightly alters the picture.

On September 15 the results of a poll produced by Capacent for the Federation of Icelandic Industry were published in Iceland showing some 50 percent of Icelanders opposed to joining the EU and 33 percent in favour. The new poll for Pressan.is suggests opposition to EU membership has grown since.

Sources:
Mjög skiptar skoðanir um gengisfyrirkomulag - fjórðungur vill halda krónunni (Pressan.is October 24, 2009)
Fleiri andvígir en hlynntir ESB-aðild (Morgunblaðið September 15, 2009)

tnx to EU News From Iceland

Never as much opposition to EU membership in Iceland

Sept 15th 2009

A new opinion poll was published today in Iceland showing more opposition to membership of the European Union than has ever been seen before. The poll was produced by Capacent Gallup for the Federation of Icelandic Industries but its leadership favours joining the EU.

According to the poll 43.2 percent of Icelanders are unhappy with the EU application the Icelandic government delivered in July after it was being accepted narrowly by the Althing, the Icelandic parliament. 39.6 percent are happy with the application.

More than half of Icelanders, or 50.2 percent, are opposed to joining the EU while 32.7 percent favour the step. In another poll by Capacent Gallup published in August where the same question was asked 48.5 percent were against EU membership and 34.7 percent were in favour.

Finally 61.5 percent said they would vote against EU membership if a referendum was held now, 38.5 percent said they would vote in favour. Of those 38.6 percent said they would definitely vote against but only 16.1% said they would definitely vote in favour.

The poll was produced from August 25 to September 10, 1649 people were polled and 52.3 percent participated.

Sources:
Fleiri andvígir en hlynntir ESB-aðild (Morgunblaðið September 15, 2009)
Andstaðan við aðild að ESB er í hámarki (Vísir.is September 15, 2009)
Andstaða við Evrópu­sambandsaðild í hámarki (Amx.is September 15, 2009)

EU News From Iceland - http://eunews.blogspot.com

Majority of Icelanders against EU membership

The results of a new poll in Iceland produced by Capacent Gallup for the think-tank Andriki shows a majority of Icelanders opposed to a membership of the European Union. Some 48.5 percent are opposed to EU membership and 34.7 percent are in favour. 16.7 percent remain undecided.

Measuring only those in favour or against some 58.3 percent oppose EU membership while 41.7 percent favour the step.

Last poll on Icelander’s attitute towards EU membership was published in the beginning of May this year also by Capacent Gallup for the state radio Ríkisútvarpið showing 38.6 percent in against and 39 percent in favour.

This means that the No side has gained 10 percent since the beginning of May while the Yes side has lost more than 4 percent.

Sources:
Fleiri andvígir aðild að ESB og vilja þjóðaratkvæðagreiðslu (Morgunblaðið August 4, 2009)
Mikill meirihluti vill viðræður (Ríkisútvarpið May 5, 2009)

Iceland in truth adopted only 6.5 percent of all EU legislation

Has Iceland really adopted two-thirds of EU legislation?

Since the end of last year it has been repeatedly claimed in foreign media that Iceland has adopted at least two-thirds of all the legislation of the European Union through the country’s membership of the European Economic Area (EEA). Among those who have said this is Olli Rehn, the EU’s commissioner for enlargement, for example to the AFP news agency at the beginning of February.

Until a few years ago, certain Icelanders in favour of joining the European Union on a regular basis claimed the same, that Iceland was adopting 70 and even up to 90 percent of EU laws through the EEA agreement. This claim was repeatedly put forward without being founded on any studies at all.

In the spring of 2005 research carried out by the EFTA [European Free Trade Association] secretariat in Brussels at the request of the Icelandic foreign ministry, however, revealed that only 6.5 percent of all EU legislation was subjected to the EEA agreement between 1994 (when it came into force) and 2004.

In March 2007 a report published by a special committee on Europe commissioned by the Icelandic prime minister, showed that some 2,500 pieces of EU legislation had been adopted in Iceland during the first decade of the EEA agreement. The study also found that about 22 percent of Icelandic laws passed by the parliament originated from the EU during the same period of time.

The totality of EU legislation is according to various sources around 25,000 to 30,000 legal acts. Total Icelandic laws and regulations, however, are around 5,000. Of those there are less than 1,000 laws, the rest is regulations. Even if the entire legislation of Iceland came from the EU it would only be around 20 percent of the total acquis communautaire.

So how is it possible to reach the conclusion that Iceland has already adopted “at least two-thirds of European legislation”?

Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson is a board member of Heimssýn, the Icelandic organisation opposing EU membership

Source: EUobserver

Report from Iceland (07/2009)

Report: Icelandic government to apply for EU membership

by Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson

Yesterday was a black day in Iceland when the Icelandic parliament narrowly voted in favour of a proposal allowing the government to apply for membership of the European Union. The vote was very close and the issue had been debated heavily for a number of days in the parliament. 33 MPs said yes, 28 said no, and two did not vote. A proposal from the opposition that the decision to apply would be a subject to a special referendum was rejected narrowly with 32 votes against 30. The government (backed by most of its MPs) opposed that proposal strongly which suggests it simply does not believe that the people are in favour of this step.

Five government MPs rejected the proposal, all from the junior coalition partner The Left Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) which is according to its policy strongly opposed to EU membership. Eight of the party’s MPs voted in favour and one did not vote. Seven of these eight are nevertheless opposed to membership but voted in favour in order to secure a continued coalition government with the pro-EU Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin). A number of them gave a short speech in the parliament before voting where they claimed their strong opposition to EU membership while drawing up a very negative picture of the union.

The voting in the parliament:

  • The Social Democratic Alliance (social democrats): Yes 20, No 0, Abstain 0.
  • The Independence Party (conservatives/liberals): Yes 1, No 14, Abstain 1.
  • The Left Green Movement (socialists/greens): Yes 8, No 5, Abstain 1.
  • The Progressive Party (centrists/agrarians): Yes 3, No 6, Abstain 0.
  • The Civilian Movement: Yes 1, No 3, Abstain 0.

Total: Yes 33, No 28, Abstain 2.

Much of the debate prior to the vote, both in the parliament and among the people, were about the fact that the Left Greent Movement was according to its policy strongly opposed to EU membership which meant that it did not have any permission from its voters to take part in applying for EU membership. Last general elections in Iceland took place on April 25 this year. Many associations within the party from various parts of the country prior to the vote protested the party leadership’s support along with many of the party’s ordinary members and voters. Political speculators in Iceland have been suggesting this could lead to some serious internal problems within the party.

The government had to count on the support from few MPs in the oppostion to get its proposal through. One of the government minister even said no, the minister for agriculture and fisheries, who comes from the Left Green Movement. In addition the leader of the Left Green Movement even said yesterday to the Icelandic media that his party assumed every right to stop the accession talks at any time if it believes the EU is not meeting its demands. According to the government’s proposal the Left Green Movement has also assumed the right to oppose a possible final accession treaty. Whether or not the party will actually do either this is yet another token of how half-heartedly it is on the issue to say the very least. This all simply means the government is very broken on this issue.

The government intends to apply for EU membership on July 27 at the meeting of EU foreign ministers. Accession talks are expected to begin in February 2010 and a possible date of accession according to the government is January 1, 2013 which means a referendum could take place in 2012. However, this all could natuarally take place somewhat sooner depending on the speed and progress of the accession talks.

The plans of Heimssýn, the No movement in Iceland, now are quite simply to do everything we can with all the help we can get to keep the polls in our favour until the initial referendum whenever it will take place - if it will take place. According to the last poll there was a 50/50 situation regarding the question if people wanted to join the EU or not.

Best wishes from Iceland,

Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson
hjortur@heimssyn.is

33 YES and 28 NO MPs for Iceland's start of negotiations with EU (plus a referendum)

A total of 33 members of the 63-seat Althingi backed the governing Social Democrat party’s proposition to open membership talks with Brussels, while 28 voted against and two abstained.

But it is the voters who will have the last word on whether the government pursues joining.

source: eubusiness.com

Iceland would not have been saved by the EU

Iceland’s former Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, said in a lecture at The Institute of European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland, that he did not believe membership of the European Union would have saved Iceland from the “financial hurricane” which triggered the country’s financial meltdown last autumn and the collapse of the its three biggest banks, noting EU membership had not saved Latvia’s economy from shrinking an expected 18 percent this year. Furthermore he pointed out that the Irish economy was expected to shrink between 10.75 and 12 percent this year while the percentage in the case of Iceland was 10 percent.

Sources:
Haarde in Dublin: Ireland worse than Iceland (Icenews.is June 22, 2009)
Irish GDP will shrink faster than Iceland’s, says ex-PM (Independent.ie June 19, 2009)

The Citizen's Movement says the EU issue is not a priority

The Citizen’s Movement (Borgarahreyfingin), which got four seats in the Icelandic parliament in the Icelandic general elections on Saturday, has announced that whether or not Iceland should join the European Union is not a priority issue. Urgent issues regarding aid for Icelandic homes and companies as a result of the economic situation however are.

The Citizen’s Movement emerged from the protests in Reykjavík last winter. In the same announcement it stresses that those protests had nothing to do with the EU but the collapse of the Icelandic bank sector and lack of actions from the authorities. This is seen as quite important news in Iceland since the Citizen’s Movement has been described in foreign as well as some domestic media as being in favour of EU membership.

Meanwhile the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) and the Left Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) are still negotiating a new government and according to latest news it may even take another week to get results.

EU News From Iceland

Still a majority against EU membership negotiations in Iceland

There is still a majority against applying for EU membership and starting membership negotiations among Icelanders according to the results of a new poll for the Icelandic daily Fréttablaðið published on April 11th. 54,4% are now opposed to applying while 45,6% are in favour.

Icelandic support for EU membership falls from 80% to 40%

Icelandic support for joining the EU falls

According to the FT, support in Iceland for joining the EU now stands at less than 40 percent, compared to highs of nearly 80 percent at the height of the financial crisis. The paper reports that reasons for the fall in support include “fissures inside the eurozone” which are “undermining the zone’s attractiveness to a tiny country.”

Here’s another article in German from ORF.

Iceland’s majority against the EU again

The strongest party in Iceland’s parliament and government will keep Iceland out of the union. Recent polls show that the voters support them, says Ditte Staun from the People’s Movement Against EU.

Iceland in troubles - could EU and Euro be the solution?

In last weeks the expected financial crisis blew stronger over some states than the others. Smaller nations and those with weaker economy have been targets of some solidarity but there are also those who have large blows to their budgets and finances.

Perhaps the most important case of a country under financial attack has been Iceland, a proud and independent example of the life outside the EU system. What happened will remain the topic of many of analysis for now we can offer some of the sources for your further reading along with the hope that tough Icelanders overcome their problems in following months and that they come out of the crisis even stronger as before.

Sources:

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