Membership status Candidate country, accession negotiations underway since July 2010.
Iceland applied for EU membership in July 2009.
The Commission issued a favourable opinion in February
2010, and the Council decided in June 2010 that accession negotiations would be opened.
Prior to 2009, Iceland already enjoyed a high degree of integration with the EU through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), Schengen Area, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is also a signatory of the Dublin regulation on asylum policy and a partner in the EU's Northern Dimension policy to promote cooperation in Northern Europe.
Through the EEA, Iceland already participates in the single market and contributes financially towards social and economic cohesion in Europe. A significant proportion of the EU's laws are applied in Iceland today. Iceland also participates, albeit with no voting rights, in a number of EU agencies and programmes, covering areas including enterprise, environment, education and research.
Iceland has been a member of The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) since 1970 and has a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the EEC since 1972. Two thirds of Iceland's foreign trade is with EU Member States.
The Municipalities of Iceland are local administrative areas in Iceland that provide a number of services to their inhabitants such as kindergartens, elementary schools, waste management, social services, public housing, public transportation, services to senior citizens and handicapped people. They also govern zoning and can voluntarily take on additional functions if they have the budget for it. The autonomy of municipalities over their own matters is guaranteed by the constitution of Iceland.
The municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are directly elected every four years The sizes of these councils vary from five members in the smallest municipalities to fifteen in the largest one. Most municipalities except for the very small ones hire an executive manager who may or may not be a member of the municipal council. These managers are usually referred to as mayors (bæjarstjóri / borgarstjóri) in the mostly urban municipalities but "commune manager" (sveitarstjóri) in the rural or mixed municipalities.
This weather map is meant to give you an understanding of the difficult conditions under which many abandoned, homeless and neglected animals are forced to live in - many die of heat stroke, dehydration or freezing temperatures in Europe.