"Negations with Iceland will strengthen both of us"
The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle expressed confidence that the accessions negotiations with Iceland would lead to mutual beneficial results: ''The aim of the accession process is to have stronger Iceland and stronger EU,'' Mr Füle said at the end of his first visit to Iceland.
During his two days in Reykjavik he met the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament and members of the parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of the Confederation of Labour and Confederation of Employers and underlined satisfaction with the good start of negotiations and the excellent level of cooperation with Icelandic partners: ''The start was good and we are progressing well. So far 6 chapters have been opened and 4 are provisionally closed,'' Commissioner Füle stated. ''Now we are entering a more demanding faze and the European Commission will do its best to support Iceland in the ambition to open and negotiate further chapters.'' Mr Füle added that there are also challenging chapters ahead like fisheries and agriculture but he was confident that solutions could be found: ''We are committed to find answers on how to accommodate Icelandic national specifics while fully safeguarding the EU's rules and principles so that all of us, the European Union and Iceland, can eventually benefit.'' According to him the negotiations process should focus both on these challenging issues but also on opportunities of the accession.
In his discussion with partners the need was mentioned to have informed public discussions so that the citizens can decide based on facts and impartial information. To help this the European Union will open an Information Office in Reykjavik in a few weeks time.