Monday, July 27, 2009
Earlier today, the European Union (EU) accepted Iceland's application to join the bloc at a meeting in Brussels, only one week after Iceland applied. The EU meeting of foreign ministers asked the European Commission (EC) to analyze whether Iceland has taken the necessary legal steps to begin membership negotiations, which is the first formal step in the EU enlargement process. If the EC completes its analysis before the end of the year, Iceland could begin accession talks in 2010. Iceland's accession process is moving at a faster pace than that of other applicants, in particular, some Balkan states. The fast pace may be explained by the facts that Iceland has a higher GDP per capita than most EU member states and has already been a member of the European Economic Area for 15 years.