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ALDE backs Iceland's EU membership bid

Date

07 Jul 2010

Sections

Global Europe

The recent unanimous decision by EU leaders to open membership talks with Iceland was the subject of debate and vote today in Strasbourg. Pat the Cope Gallagher, (Fianna Fail, Ireland) Chairman of Delegation for relations with Iceland said "Iceland is uniquely placed to proceed quickly with negotiations as she has already adopted a significant part of the Community acquis due to its membership of the EEA. I strongly believe that aside from the political negotiations that will now commence, it is of equal importance to further improve the political and civil society dialogue between the European Union and Iceland." Diana Wallis, (Liberal Democrat, UK) Vice-President of the European Parliament and a member of the EP Delegation to Iceland added "Iceland is the oldest parliamentary democracy in Europe with a huge contribution to make to the EU in terms of its experience and expertise in fisheries and sustainable energy and its geopolitically strategic position as an Arctic nation." Hans van Baalen, (VVD, The Netherlands), ALDE Shadow rapporteur on this report was categorical about one issue in particular though, "I welcome the start of negotiations and believe that Iceland will make a significant contribution to the EU but we have to make it clear that Iceland must resolve issues concerning Icesave, if negotiations are to conclude successfully."

For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84
e-mail: neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu
Edel Crosse: +33-3-88 17 35 61 or +32-498-16 17 80

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