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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)


Membership status

In March 2015 Iceland's government requested that "Iceland should not be regarded as a candidate country for EU membership". The Council took note and undertook further practical adjustments of its working procedures.


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. After a new government took over in May 2013, Iceland 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. In March 2015 Iceland's government requested that "Iceland should not be regarded as a candidate country for EU membership".

Iceland is highly integrated with the EU through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), the Schengen Area and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It is also a signatory of the Dublin regulation on asylum policySearch for available translations of the preceding link••• and a partner in the EU's Northern Dimension policy to promote cooperation in Northern Europe.

Through the EEA, Iceland 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 a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the EEC since 1972. Two thirds of Iceland's foreign trade is with EU Member States.

Negotiation chapters

Open Provisionally closed

Transport policy
Social policy and employment
Financial control
Public Procurement
Information Society and Media
Financial and Budgetary Provision
Competition policy
Financial services
Customs Union
Free Movement of Goods
Economic and Monetary Policy
Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments
Environment, External Relations

Science and Research
Education and Culture
Freedom of Movement for Workers
Intellectual Property Law
Company Law
Enterprise and Industrial Policy
Trans-European Networks
Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
consumer and health protection
Foreign, security and defence policy
Competition Policy

More information on the country's relations with the EU...


  1. 12-03-2015
    In March 2015 Iceland's government requested that "Iceland should not be regarded as a candidate country for EU membership".
  2. 01-06-2013
    Iceland puts accession negotiations on hold.
  3. 18-12-2012
    Accession conference - six chapters formally opened, one provisionally closed.
  4. 24-10-2012
    Accession conference (deputy level) - three chapters formerly opened.
  5. 22-06-2012
    Intergovernmental conference; three chapters opened.
  6. 30-03-2012
    Intergovernmental Conference; four chapters formally opened of which two provisionally closed.
  7. 12-12-2011
    Intergovernmental Conference: 5 chapters opened, 4 provisionally closed.
  8. 19-10-2011
    Intergovernmental Conference; 2 chapters opened and provisionally closed.
  9. 27-06-2011
    Intergovernmental Conference; 4 chapters opened, 2 provisionally closed
  10. 20-06-2011
    'Screening' concluded; accession negotiations continue
  11. 15-11-2010
    'Screening' stage of accession negotiations begins.
  12. 27-07-2010
    1st intergovernmental conference on Iceland's EU accession.
  13. 17-06-2010
    Council decides to open negotiations with Iceland.
  14. 24-02-2010
    Opinion by Commission on Iceland's application for EU membership.
  15. 11-01-2010
    EU delegation opens in Reykjavik.
  16. 02-11-2009
    Icelandic ambassador to EU appointed Chief Negotiator for accession talks.
  17. 01-10-2009
    Iceland replies to Commission questionnaire.
  18. 27-07-2009
    Council requests Commission opinion on application.
  19. 16-07-2009
    Iceland applies to join EU.
  20. 01-01-1994
    Iceland joins European Economic Area (EEA).
  21. 01-01-1973
    Free trade agreement with the European Community.
  22. 01-01-1970
    Iceland joins European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Key documents