On Thursday, MEPs supported a Resolution on Iceland's Progress Report 2010, concerning the country's EU membership bid, by a large majority. Iceland is already part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and its legislation is to a high extent aligned with that of the European Union. For the moment, the screening process is still in progress and the first negotiation chapters might be opened during the summer.Here is the voting in the Parliament, pretty conclusive, No?
The Rapporteur, Cristian Preda MEP, welcomed the reforms increasing the independence of the judiciary, while stressing the need for a thorough implementation of these measures. He also noted that he hopes for a positive result to the Icesave referendum this Sunday, allowing the negotiations to concentrate on substantive issues instead of bilateral conflicts.
MEPs also encouraged Iceland to keep up a good pace in the ongoing negotiations on mackerel quotas, in particular with the goal of reaching "a Resolution of the mackerel dispute based on realistic proposals which safeguard the future of the stock, protect and maintain jobs in the pelagic fishery and ensure a long-term, sustainable fishery."
So it is apparant from this that the accession of Iceland to the EU is a done deal...
Or not, if we look at the reality,
The vast majority of Icelanders are still opposed to joining the European Union according to a new opinion poll published today, March 17, in the business newspaper Viðskiptablaðið. 55.7 percent oppose EU membership while 30 percent favour the step. 14.2 percent are uncertain.
A recent poll by Capacent published on March 10 put the opposition to EU membership at 50.5 percent, the support at 31.4 percent and the uncertain at 18 percent.
The last poll before that was published by Capacent in July 2010 putting the opposition at 60 percent, the support at 26 percent and those uncertain at 14 percent.
Every poll published in Iceland since August 2009, made by different polling companies, has shown a large majority of Icelanders against joining the EU and only about 1/3 in favour.
They are desperate aren't they.