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The European Union Seen from the Top the View of an Inside-Outsider

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Chapter Summary

At the end of the 1980's, the European Union invited the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries to discuss a closer association with the EU. It has been claimed, both by supporters and opponents of Iceland's membership, that by joining the European Economic Area, Iceland in effect became an adjunct member of the European Union. This chapter discusses the background and nature of these changes and shows why the Icelandic authorities have not seen fit to pursue full membership in the European Union. It also discusses the reasoning of those who say that full membership is a better alternative than merely retaining the current treaty agreements and of those who think that a closer association with the European Union would be undesirable. Finally, the chapter assesses the chances of Iceland's applying for EU membership in the near future.

Keywords: European Economic Area; European free trade association (EFTA) countries; European Union; Icelandic authorities



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