Foreign Ministers of the European Union have invited the Commission to prepare an opinion on Iceland’s preparedness to enter negotiations on accession to the European Union. The decision was announced today by the Swedish Chairmanship of the Council in Brussels following the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council.
Iceland’s foreign minister, Ossur Skarphedinsson, welcomed the decision of the Foreign Ministers: "This is a significant step forward for Iceland. I particularly appreciate the acknowledgement of Iceland’s deep integration in Europe based on Iceland's own merit."
The Council has to consult the Commission and get the assent of the European Parliament before accepting a country's membership application.