Five Chapters in Iceland-EU Talks Open Today Skip to content

Five Chapters in Iceland-EU Talks Open Today

Five chapters of negotiation will open during the third summit in the accession talks between Iceland and the European Union in Brussels today.

euro-centralbank_ipa

The Euro Central Bank in Frankfurt. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

The chapters concern social rights, employment and industrial policies, a European transport network, funding affairs, safeguarding of legal rights and basic human rights, Fréttablaðið reports.

Discussions on four of these chapters are expected to conclude at the meeting; only the chapter on funding will remain open.

After today, 11 of the 33 chapters up for discussion in the accession talks will have been opened and eight closed.

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson will lead the Icelandic delegation today.

The chapter on legal and human rights is the first to be opened which is not part of the EEA agreement.

Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Iceland’s main negotiator, said the chapter can be closed the same day it is opened because Iceland is party of the European Treaty of Human Rights and international agreements in the field of human rights.

This particular chapter has proven more of an obstacle for other EU membership applications, such as that of Croatia.

“The fact that we can close this chapter so early in the process, the same day it is opened, reflects how close Iceland is to Europe in many senses,” Stefán reasoned.

In other EU news, in a poll conducted by daily newspaper Fréttablaðið and the newsroom of broadcaster Stöð 2, two thirds of Icelanders, or 65 percent, want to finish the discussions with the EU, which may potentially lead to Iceland joining the EU.

The numbers show a two-percent increase since the last survey in September.

Fifty-six percent of supporters of the opposition’s Independence Party and 95 percent of the supporters of Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir’s Social Democratic Alliance are positive towards the EU talks.

Those who are most negative towards the EU talks are those supporting the Progressive Party of whom 63 percent want Iceland to quit the talks.

Generally, residents of the capital region are more positive towards the EU talks than residents of other regions, and men are more positive than women.

Click here to read more about the Iceland and the EU.

ESA/PS

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