Fresh poll confirms Iceland's long-standing opposition to EU membership


Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson
Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson

Most Icelanders do not want their country to join the European Union according to an opinion poll produced by Gallup and published on Monday. According to the poll 59.8% reject becoming part of the EU while 40.2% would like to see that happen. Membership of the bloc has been opposed in every opinion poll published in Iceland since July 2009 or for more than eight years.

The opinion poll, which was produced for Já Ísland, an Icelandic organisation in favour of membership of the EU, furthermore saw the majority of Icelanders both reject fresh accession talks with the EU and also adopting the euro instead of the króna, the national currency. The króna has been under some criticism lately bacause of soaring value against other currencies.

Supporters of Iceland becoming part of the EU have often claimed applying for EU membership is possible only to see what Brussels has to offer without any commitment to actually join the bloc. Consequently opinion polls asking people about accession talks have often until rather recently delivered more positive results for their cause than polls asking directly about membership.

Fresh EU accession talks are rejected by 55.5% of Icelanders while 44.5% are in favour. When it comes to adopting the euro, which is not possible in the absence of EU membership as Brussels has repeatedly confirmed over the years but has sometimes been suggested in the Icelandic debate as a possibility without membership, 52.3% reject that step while 47.3% are in favour.

The then centre-left government of Iceland applied to join the EU in July 2009 following the economic crisis that hit the country in the autumn before. The accession talks were, however, put on hold after the 2013 general elections by the new centre-right government which then announced to Brussels in 2015 that Iceland was no longer a candidate for EU membership.




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