Candidate country, accession negotiations started in July 2010 and were put on hold by the Icelandic government in May 2013.
Iceland applied for EU membership in July 2009. The Commission issued a favourable opinion in February 2010, and the Council decided in June 2010 that accession negotiations would be opened. In May 2013, the Icelandic government took the decision to put the accession negotiations on hold. At the time of this decision, 27 of the negotiating chapters had been opened, of which 11 provisionally closed.
Prior to 2009, Iceland already enjoyed a high degree of integration with the EU through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), Schengen Area, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is also a signatory of the Dublin regulation on asylum policy and a partner in the EU's Northern Dimension policy to promote cooperation in Northern Europe.
Through the EEA, Iceland already participates in the single market and contributes financially towards social and economic cohesion in Europe. A significant proportion of the EU's laws are applied in Iceland today. Iceland also participates, albeit with no voting rights, in a number of EU agencies and programmes, covering areas including enterprise, environment, education and research.
Iceland has been a member of The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) since 1970 and has a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the EEC since 1972. Two thirds of Iceland's foreign trade is with EU Member States.
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