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Minister Wammen in Iceland: Negotiations for EU membership are progressing – but still a long way to go

06-03-2012 14:00:00

Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland Össur Skarphéðinsson

Minister for European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen, today concludes a two-day visit to Iceland, where especially Iceland’s ongoing EU enlargement negotiations and the Danish EU Presidency were in focus.

Minister for European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen, today concludes a two-day visit to Iceland. During the visit Minister Wammen met with the Prime Minister of Iceland, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ossur Skarphéðinsson, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister and Economy, Steingrímur Sigfússon, and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Althingi (the Parliament). During the visit Iceland’s ongoing EU enlargement negotiations and the Danish EU presidency in particular were in focus.

The Minister for European Affairs states:

"Denmark wants Iceland to join the EU, where it naturally belongs. We fully support Iceland’s ongoing accession negotiations with the EU, which I have confirmed during my talks. While holding the Presidency, we wish to contribute to bringing the negotiations as far as possible. During my visit I've been very satisfied to note that the negotiations are making progress.

Iceland has been well prepared and has a determined and professional approach. In addition Iceland's membership of the so-called European Economic Area (EEA) means that the country to a large extent already lives up to the EU's regulatory framework. Though this is very positive, difficult outstanding issues still need to be addressed. In a number of areas, such as fisheries, difficult negotiations still lie ahead. There will be a need for a constructive and realistic approach to these negotiations, both from Iceland and from the EU. But as I leave Reykjavík today, I am confident on behalf of Iceland and the EU."

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