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To Join, or Not To Join

April 17, 1989



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.

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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.)

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.