The European Union is in a metamorphic phase, as illustrated by globalEDGE’s various blog posts on the topic. The trade bloc is trying desperately to stabilize its currency, sustain healthy industry growth, and prevent Greece from defaulting on sovereign debt. These nations have remained resilient before and many economists believe they will stand the test of time, for there is strength in numbers. Six countries are currently in the process to become full-fledged members. One of the candidates is Iceland.
Since 1970, Iceland has been a member of the European Free Trade Association and has maintained a bilateral free trade agreement with the European Economic Community for over 40 years. With a historical track record of being involved with the continent, it is natural that Icelandic citizens and corporations want to adopt the Euro. A recent MMR poll shows that roughly 33.3% of Icelanders want to join the European Union. Unfortunately, the process is quite arduous.
The Nordic country first applied for EU membership in 2009. After a promising review by the European Commission, negotiations opened the following year. However, in 2013 the Council decided to put the accession negotiations on hold. Since then Iceland has made significant strides towards sustainable economic development after suffering from a systemic banking collapse. Last week, investors were largely oversubscribed to a benchmarked bond by Arion Bank, the country’s leading financial institution. On the public debt side, Iceland is on a steady path to reconciling the “$2.1 billion it borrowed from the International Monetary Fund, with just $345 million left to repay.” In my opinion, this distinguishes the island country as a robust candidate for the EU.
What are your thoughts on countries wishing to entire the European Union? Please comment below and be sure to check out our Global Insights page to learn more about some of the most noteworthy trade blocs in international business!