European Commission - Press release
Commissioner Š. Füle on Iceland' s path towards the EU
Brussels, 18 October 2011 - The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Iceland on Wednesday and Thursday for the first time since the country applied for the EU membership. Commissioner Š. Füle will be able to personally discuss the content of the 2011 Progress Report on Iceland with his interlocutors in Reykjavik and discuss further steps in the accession process.
"Negotiations with Iceland have had a good start and are progressing well, we have excellent cooperation" Mr Füle said before leaving Brussels. "Iceland and the European Union already share many policies, a lot of legislation, and our economies are well integrated," he added in respect to the level of approximation to the EU. The Commissioner will meet the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament and members of the parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of the Confederation of Labour and Confederation of Employers during his two days in Reykjavik.
Iceland applied for the EU membership in July 2009 and so far four negotiating chapters have been opened, out of which two are provisionally closed. The European Commission has published the Progress Report on Iceland last week stating that the overall level of Iceland's preparedness to meet EU legislative requirements continues to be good. In order to contribute to the public debate about the EU, the EU Information Centre will be opened in Reykjavik in the coming weeks.
EU-Iceland key dates
1970: Iceland joins European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
1973: Free trade agreement with the European Community
1994: Iceland joins the European Economic Area (EEA)
2000: Iceland becomes a participant in the Schengen agreement
July 2009: Application for EU membership
February 2010: Commission's Opinion on Iceland's application for EU membership
June 2010: European Council decides to open negotiations with Iceland
July 2010: Formal opening of the accession negotiations
15 November 2010: Start of screening meetings
20 June 2011: End of screening meetings
27 June 2011: Accession conference: 4 negotiation chapters were opened out of which, two were provisionally closed.
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)