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Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgaria should support Iceland's EU membership

Adelina Marini, 19 May 2009

Bulgaria's ex foreign minister in the government of Simeon Saxecobourggotta, Solomon Passy has criticised the current government for not expressing the position of Bulgaria with regard to the Iceland's EU candidacy. In an article in the Bulgarian daily "Trud" our ex first diplomat, ex candidate for secretary general of NATO and last in the list of NDSV for the European elections, explains that Bulgaria would have for the first time to use its right to say yes or no to the negotiating process with a non neighbouring country. Passy says that Iceland should be accepted in the EU for a very important reason - Iceland is one of the founding members of NATO. This is an added value and, according to Passy, this might provoke Norway to become a member too and why not catalyze the debate in Sweden and Finland for NATO membership.

In his short analysis for the newspaper Solomon Passy also writes: "European integration is one of the most intimate processes of Globalisation, which presupposes good preparation or historical experience in cooperating with neighbours. We, the Bulgarians, should be convinced that this far and very isolated but very intelligent people is ready to acknowledge the self-sacrifices of solidarity which European integration requires". Passy reminds as well that the principles for enlargement for the Balkans should fully be applied to Nordic countries too. This would mean though that Iceland would have some difficulties with joining the EU unless it proves that it doesn't; experience problems with corruption and organised crime which would probably not be necessary if we take into account the fact that Iceland is a member of the European economic space, also known as EU Plus.

The parallels with the Balkans is also not very appropriate for many other reasons: unsolved conflicts with neighbouring countries, danger of ethnic tensions, weak economic and civic performance and many more. Such problems Iceland doesn't experience. The debate about its membership to the EU came to light in the autumn when in Reykjavik for the first time the danger of state bankruptcy has for the first time being felt. In fact EU membership is the first phase of introducing the European single currency and that could actually help a member state avoid real bankruptcy.

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