What is the European Union?
Proponents of Icelandic membership of the EU often speak of it as a collaborative organisation of independent nations, whose main role is to standardise the law and regulations of the member states. They present it as similar in nature to various other kinds of international collaboration, and argue that Iceland should participate fully. But this is a serious misunderstanding. The EU is, first and foremost, a step on the path towards forming a new superpower. Member states yield up important aspects of their independence to the supreme institutions of the EU, in a similar way to the federated states of the USA. The process is, of course, far more advanced in the USA, and the EU is still midway between being an alliance of nations and a federation. But this is clearly the objective. Therefore, membership of the EU is entirely different in nature from membership of international organisations. The EU is gradually developing into a super state that is appropriating the sovereign rights of member states in most important fields.
Isn't bigger better?
It is worth considering why economic development in Iceland has been so much more rapid in recent decades than in the states of the EU. Large nations in Western Europe have by no means prospered more than small nations in the 20th century; on the contrary, see Economic growth.
It is thus a misunderstanding, that it must be better for the Icelanders to follow the trend, and do as their neighbours have done. The Icelandic nation has, over past centuries, had a peculiarly painful history of being governed by officials thousands of kilometres away.