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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

EU Presidency responds to Foreign Minister's letter

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson Minister for Foreign Affairs has received a reply from the Presidency of the European Union to a letter from March this year where he announced that the Government of Iceland did not intend to resume accession negotiations with the EU and that it considered Iceland no longer a candidate country. The reply letter from Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkvics, who currently holds the Presidency of the EU, states that the EU Council has taken note of the Icelandic government's position and will accordingly consider certain further practical adjustments to the EU Council working procedures. 

"The letter confirms the conclusions of last week's EU Council meeting. It has been clear for quite some time that the Icelandic Government does not consider Iceland an EU candidate country and in my recent letter this position was reiterated and the EU asked to adjust its working procedures accordingly. We haven't had any reason to doubt that our stated request would be approved. With this letter we now have clarity in this issue, which is most welcome," Foreign Minister Sveinsson said and added that he now expected the European Union to take Iceland's name off the list of candidate countries, as had been requested. "Iceland attaches great importance to the partnership and relations with the EU and its member states under the European Economic Area agreement (EEA) and in other important areas. It is therefore very important that we use our time well and put our efforts into further strengthening this co-operation," Foreign Minister Sveinsson said.


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