Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Enlargement report for Iceland

Delivered in Plenary - 15th March 2012

Mr President

The ECR Group fully supports Icelandís eventual accession to the EU. Iceland is a small stable and wealthy democracy and a founder member of NATO and the Council of Europe. It has also made good progress in the accession process. I welcome the fact that Icelandís Supreme Court has recognised its EEA/EFTA obligations and the jurisdiction of that court regarding compensation for Icesave depositors, which will no doubt come up during the accession negotiations. I understand around one third of the recognised priority claims have now been repaid.

Given Icelandís successful completion of the IMFís economic recovery programme last year, and a return to positive economic growth, we have no doubt that the other outstanding claims will be repaid.

With regard to the ongoing mackerel dispute we believe that Iceland must respect its legal obligations and we believe the EU and Iceland to be perfectly capable of engaging in constructive negotiations to resolve this thorny issue. Hopefully we will also see the radical Commissioner Damanaki reforms of the CFP kick in shortly. Ultimately, if after closing all the chapters the Icelandic people in a referendum decide to join the EU, this country will be a model EU Member State and will hopefully entice Norway to join the EU as EFTA would no longer be sustainable without Iceland.