Statement by the Foreign Minister on enlargement
Following the 2013 Progress reports by the European Commission on enlargement , EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule expressed his view that "... we were not that far from being able to present the citizens of Iceland with a deal which would take into account Iceland‘s specificities and at the same time taking into account the European Union‘s principles."
This is a rather free account. The fact of the matter is that all the major issues in these negotiations were still unresolved when they were put on hold. Although many chapters had been opened and a third closed, it cannot be maintained that a conclusion was around the corner when the chapters on fisheries and agriculture had not been opened, not to mention the fact that the EU had not even completed deliberations on its own screening report on the fisheries chapter.
This assertion by Commissioner Fule shows the importance of ensuring that accurate information on the status of negotiations is available. This is one of the core issues of the review on the negotiations which is now being undertaken and will be put forward to the Parliament and the public early next year.
Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs.