Iceland drops EU membership bid

Iceland has announced it is dropping its bid to join the European Union in line with pledges made two years ago by its then-new eurosceptic government, The Guardian reports.

Iceland first applied for EU membership in 2009 but its foreign minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, said in a statement that the centre-right government had informed current EU president Latvia and the European Commission of its decision to annul the application.

“Iceland’s interests are better served outside the European Union,” the minister wrote on his website.

Iceland first applied for EU membership under a leftist government in 2009, when the country was badly shaken by an economic crisis that saw the Icelandic krona lose almost half its value, making eurozone membership an attractive prospect.

But the thorny issue of fishing quotas was seen as a key obstacle to joining the bloc, although it was never brought up in the accession talks.

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