Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson went on an official visit to Malta on Monday to meet with Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Foreign Minister Tonio Borg, to discuss their experience of the European Union.
Össur Skarphédinsson (left) and Tonio Borg. Courtesy of Iceland’s Foreign Ministry.
Malta is one of the EU’s smallest member states and is known for its successful internal consultation during its preparations for membership negotiations, according to the ministry’s website.
Iceland, which is currently considering applying for membership to the EU and, like Malta, has a relatively small population compared to other European countries, is therefore seeking to learn from Malta’s experience.
Skarphédinsson also met with Richard Cachia Caruana, Malta’s Ambassador to the EU and former chief negotiator, as well as with other experts.
The foreign minister familiarized himself with the consultation process in Malta before EU membership talks were launched, with emphasis on cooperation between different interest groups and views.
The Icelandic government submitted a parliamentary resolution on beginning EU membership negotiations last week. All political parties agreed that thorough consultation was necessary before doing so.
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