Could Belgium Stop Iceland’s EU Application? Skip to content

Could Belgium Stop Iceland’s EU Application?

According to Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson, a specialist in European studies at Bifröst University in Iceland, a Belgian sub-parliament in Flanders has the power to stop Iceland’s membership application to the European Union.

Photo of Thingvellir by Páll Stefánsson.

“Iceland will not be granted membership to the EU without our neighboring countries being content with the handling of the banking collapse of last fall,” Einarsson told Morgunbladid. “The Icesave case is the largest part of that. The UK and the Netherlands will prevent Iceland’s membership to the EU if the Icesave case hasn’t been concluded to their liking.”

“There are other cases like that. Across Europe a number of individuals and companies are hurting after their trade with the Icelandic banks and many of these people are dissatisfied with the handling of the banking collapse in Iceland,” Einarsson stated.

“I can mention Flanders in Belgium as an example. Many congressmen there are extremely dissatisfied. Only a handful of these congressmen are needed to stop Iceland’s membership application to the EU,” Einarsson claimed.

Einarsson believes Iceland has two options. “We are standing at crossroads. Roughly speaking, we can choose to go either to the right or the left,” he said, elaborating:

“One of the ways is to withdraw, not apply for EU membership, not negotiate on Icesave, maintain the currency restrictions and even abandon the EEA agreement because we won’t fulfill its conditions under such circumstances—that means, withdraw from the global community altogether.”

“The other way is to conclude Icesave, join the EU and become a fully accepted member of the global community. But if we want to join the EU we have to go all the way,” Einarsson said. He discusses his views in a new book <i>Frá Evróvisjón til evru<p> (“From Eurovision to the Euro”).

“The EU has to make around 2,000 major decisions before Iceland can join. And what is more, each and every one of these 2,000 decisions must be approved by Iceland. So 2,000 major decisions are standing in the way of Iceland’s membership to the EU,” Einarsson reiterated.

He believes that tens of thousands of people will be part of the decision making process in connection with Iceland’s membership application.

Click here to read more about Iceland and the EU.

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