Iceland, Denmark and the Euro

31st January, 2009

Ireland’s Future in Europe

There has recently been a lot of articles about Denmark and Iceland deepening their European integration in response to economic difficulties. Denmark is considering holding a referendum to apply for membership to the Euro and (maybe) reverse their ‘opt outs’ in some sensitive policy areas. Iceland is also said to be considering an application to join the EU and eventually adopt the Euro. All of this has a number of implications for Ireland which we must consider in the run up to the next Lisbon referendum.

Firstly, as other small to medium sized European countries look to further integrate with the EU we are considering going in the opposite direction.

Secondly, the Euro is still seen as the best hope of monetary stability, despite what some commentators are suggesting.

Finally, there will be some pressing questions about European solidarity soon. Denmark’s application to join the Euro will be straight forward. Iceland will be entirely another matter. A sense of humility in all of this
seem apt. ‘There but for the grace of God go I?’.