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Iceland's saga in EU
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-07-19 08:56:13
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To be cynical - I suppose it is part of me, so forgive me - but I believe that Iceland would never have thought of applying for a full EU membership if the economy hadn’t taken the bad hit did a few months ago. I don’t mean that Iceland isn’t welcome in the European family, or that Iceland doesn’t belong with the rest of the 27. Actually, Iceland’s move might remind the rest of us about the precise reasons that created this union - the only way to survive the times ahead, is to be united and become an example and a role model for an utopist united globe in the future.

Of course it’s going to be a debate, from both sides. The Icelandic opposition won’t accept that they build castles with sand, or in Iceland’s case with ice. The European reaction will be that it’s unfair to be obliged to help a bankrupt state. But we must remember that negotiations last for years, and it could be even a decade before Iceland can become a full member and start milking the goods of the membership. During this time you never know how many things might have changed.

The whole thing might remind Barroso and the rest of the gang why they are there, and what their job descriptions are. It might remind them that the European Union is there to protect its members, represent their interests, and most of all work for its citizens. They’re not there to serve the geopolitical agendas of certain groups and hypocrite allies that can change when things don’t go their way, and from the most valuable allies become …old Europe, I’m sorry but this is something I cannot forget easily.

Iceland has every right to apply for membership, and its participation will strengthen the European Union. It will expand the borders of the union further north, even give access to the future oil fields that are there and still remain an exploration mystery. And beyond every irony, regarding pop star Björk’s popularity; the Icelandic culture belongs to the European identity and it has a lot to add. The land of the fishermen is the land of the heroic sagas and the land that inspired the elves in Tolkien stories. Not to mention the breathtaking nature.

Iceland has, despite other candidates in the past, never been far away from the European Union. On the contrary, a lot of times Iceland was in agreement with the regulations and laws, and the necessary transformation is not going to be as painful as it has been for some other states. The adoption of the common currency is going to be a natural next step, despite the financial problems the country is facing. Actually adopting the euro might stabilize the economy and give a new boost to the Icelandic economy.

The Icelandic Prime Minister Sigursdottir said in an interview that the decision was probably the most historic moment in the history of the Icelandic Parliament. She hopes and believes that the decision will create the necessary economic stability for the country, ensuring long term prosperity for both families and businesses. Amazingly, and this serves as another reminder for Mr. Barroso, the woman described exactly why the Union is there. It’s not there to fulfill personal agendas like in Poland’s case, or geopolitical dreams and others’ agendas, like in Turkey’s case.

What remains now is the party with the mystical music of … Björk!
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