To Join, or Not To Join

Austria: Expected to jump ship and apply for EC membership this summer; may face problems due to its neutrality, which could clash with the EC's Western orientation. Norway: Belongs to the NATO alliance, so no neutrality problem; but country was bitterly divided in the 1970s, when the issue of EC membership last came up. The current Labor government wants to avoid another showdown.

Finland: Government said last year that Finnish neutrality is incompatible with EC membership; but country is increasingly meshed into the trading networks of the West, especially the EC.

Sweden: Swedish companies, such as Volvo, are extremely interested in the EC, but Swedish neutrality makes membership highly unlikely. (Sweden, Finland, and Norway are all pondering some form of Scandinavian cooperation.)

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Iceland: Like Norway, belongs to NATO; but overwhelming reliance on fishing makes it unwilling to consider EC membership - which would require opening up coastal fishing grounds to other EC countries.

Switzerland: One of the most international economies in the world, but the country treasures its neutrality above all else. No political party or major industry favors EC membership.

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