Commissioner Štefan Füle presents opinion on Iceland's accession bid
On 24 February Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy presented the Commission Opinion recommending the opening of accession negotiations with Iceland. Mr Füle noted: "The opinion is an important step in the accession process and provides guidance to Iceland in its efforts to become an EU member. I am confident that Iceland will show determination in addressing the challenges highlighted in the opinion."
Iceland submitted its application for EU membership on 17 July 2009 to the Council, which, on 27 July, asked the Commission to provide an opinion on the application. Iceland's bid for accession comes at a time of economic crisis. Experience with former accession candidates shows that the prospect of EU membership and ensuing reforms have a stabilising effect on financial markets. Iceland's application highlights the Union's role in promoting economic and political stability.