Grants from the European Union to Iceland have been suspended after the new Icelandic government announced that it would put membership talks on hold. The EU advertised grants totaling ISK 1.4 billion (EUR 8.3 million, USD 11.3 million) late last year.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson said in an interview with Fréttablaðið last week that the ministry was looking into which projects—a total of 20—were directly linked to the membership talks and which were not.
Applications for projects in the fields of economic development, regional development, welfare and labor market issues were sought as part of the ‘Iceland 2020’ strategy. Grants vary from ISK 200,000-1 million each.
General director of the Icelandic Center for Research (Rannís), Hallgrímur Jónasson, said that the entire process were on hold and that the ball was in the government’s court. “We know nothing about when these grants will be finalized,” he said. “We had expected to pay them around this time.”