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Iceland parliament to consider EU accession

[JURIST] Iceland Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir [official profile; personal website, in Icelandic] said Sunday that the country's parliament will consider applying [press release] to join the European Union (EU) [official website] by holding a referendum when it meets on May 15. Sigurdardottir made the announcement shortly after constituting the cabinet of the country's new Social Democratic [party website, in Icelandic] and Left Green [party website] coalition government [press release]. The two parties are split [Iceland Review report] on whether to join the EU, but Sigurdardottir said that joining the Union and adopting the Euro would help stabilize the country's economy, which has recently suffered significant declines [BBC backgrounder].

If Iceland decides to seek EU accession [criteria materials], it would become one of several countries currently doing so including Turkey, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia, though it will likely face fewer obstacles. Earlier this year, a report [text, PDF, in Turkish] by advocacy group Tesev [advocacy website] argued that Turkish property rights still fell short [JURIST report] of those required to join the EU, and the European Commission (EC) [official website] has said that Romania must do more to fight corruption [report, PDF; JURIST report] before it can join. The EC has also said that Serbia may be eligible to join the Union [JURIST report] if it takes the appropriate steps, and Croatia has sought to create special courts [proposal, DOC, in Croatian; JURIST report] targeted at organized crime in their accession efforts.

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