Analysis of the Causes of Iceland’s EU Membership Application: A Gradual Shift or a Sudden Turnover?

  • Robert Majer
  • Petr Kaniok
Keywords: Iceland and the European integration, EU enlargement, economic recession, support for EU membership


Iceland was the last Nordic country to apply for membership in the European Union (EU). The position of the country, which refused to join the European integration process for a long period of time, is supposed to change in the near future. In July 2009, the country filed an application to join the EU and it is expected that by the end of 2012 Iceland will join the EU. Iceland’s long-term resistance to EU membership attracted considerable scientific attention in previous decades. The first aim of this paper is to confront these general observations with the processes and situations that occurred in Iceland prior to its EU membership application and thus verify the accuracy of the observations. The second aim of the article is to find out whether Iceland’s application for EU membership can be explained in the framework of these observations or whether it follows from the consequences of the economic recession. In this context, the findings of our research support strong relevance and importance of economic recession for explanation of change in Icelandic position towards the EU membership.

Author Biographies

Robert Majer



Petr Kaniok