Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth travelled to Iceland from 10 to 12 May 2015 for political talks. He also gave a lecture on Europe at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík.
In his talks with the President, the Foreign Minister and other Icelandic politicians, Roth underlined the good relations between Germany and Iceland.
At the European level, too, Iceland is an important partner, Roth continued, stressing that the EU’s doors were still open for the country.
We greatly value the reliable cooperation, and I respect the Icelandic Government’s decision not to continue talks about EU accession. However, I do find it regrettable that Iceland is not part of the EU. It is the EU’s very essence that it is not the size of a country that matters, but rather the ideas and creative input it brings to bear. And in this respect, Iceland has much to offer – Iceland and the EU would both benefit from the country’s accession.
During his lecture at the university, Roth made it clear that the EU, too, was facing several challenges that could only be tackled by a common approach:
The EU needs to deliver: in the sphere of foreign policy, with regard to refugee issues, but also on how to get back on the path of growth and employment in all countries. For the younger generation in particular needs to associate the EU with a promise of hope and a way forward. We can only achieve this together, and we need cohesion and intra‑European solidarity. On a global scale, we are all dwarfs.
Click here to read the speech.