Iceland applies for EU membership

Iceland meets most of the EU membership criteria, but expects tough talks on fisheries.

    Skarphedinsson, left, said fishing would be a difficult issue in membership negotiations [AFP]

    Fishing is a key sector of the country's economy and Icelanders are concerned that the EU's common fisheries policy would give other European fleets access to the nation's rich waters.

    'Difficult negotiations'

    "I realise that we have two difficult issues to deal with, the fisheries and agriculture," Skarphedinsson said.

    "I think it could be difficult negotiations ... But I think within three years we can become a member."

    Skarphedinsson, a former fisherman, said Iceland would not accept a "rotten deal" for its fishing industry.

    "To be frank with you, if we would get a rotten deal on the fisheries, the Icelandic people would get quite angry."

    Iceland would have to hold a referendum on membership before joining the EU. A poll in May showed that just over 60 per cent of the Icelanders supported the apllication.

    Iceland is already part of the European Economic Area, a trading block that gives Icelanders the right to live and work in the EU, while the country is allowed to run its own agricultural, fishing and monetary policies.

    Iceland, with its population of about 320,000, would become the EU's smallest member if its entry is approved.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.