When Did I Cease to Be European?

When exactly did Iceland cease to be a geographical part of Europe? I have sometimes thought about this upon hearing Icelandic Europhiles preach that Iceland must join Europe as soon as possible. Naturally these speculations have been more in jest than in seriousness. People probably have to be quite ignorant not to see the difference between the European Union as such and Europe, besides the fact that the EU has nothing to do with whether Iceland, or any other country, is considered a part of Europe or not.

But in spite of these obvious facts this remains one of the essentials in the propaganda of the European Union and its supporters. Along these lines many associations of Europhiles are given names like “Britain in Europe,” “Sweden in Europe,” “Estonia in Europe,” etc. Therefore the inevitable question comes to mind why these associations are not called “Britain in the EU,” “Sweden in the EU,” etc.? After all that would be far more demonstrative.

The reason for all this is really not complicated. The Europhiles simply realize, just as most people do, that the European Union does not have a particularly positive appeal for large numbers of its citizens and also the majority of the public in a number of its member states. This was clearly seen in national referendums and opinion polls in the past years. Therefore the Europhiles find themselves obliged to use something else as a bait, something which they consider more attractive – and here “Europe” comes into the picture.

As a consequence the Europhiles harp on the nonsense that by staying outside the EU the countries in question would also be staying outside Europe. If on the other hand they join the union they would also be “joining Europe,” however ridiculous it may sound.

I never could figure it out myself

I seems like the think that makes Icelanders feel more European than "other" is the (modern) relationship with the Scandinavians, but really - the love of cars, the outdoors, and the like make them awfully - I'm sure this will draw a groan - North American in many ways.
Their siding with the US in the Cold War deferring to the US' interests over the Britons seems a little like it was a rejection of Europeans, or at least the way they were treated by them...

The European America

Well, some people have said that Iceland is the most American country in Europe. And I think they may be right. For one thing we are very much individualistic. The biggest political party in Iceland has for decades been a center-right party, the Independence Party, unlike for example the other Nordic countries. In fact Icelandic politics are very Anglo-Saxon (maybe it's our Celtic blood, but most Icelanders are of Celtic-Norwegian origin).

But all this of course doesn't change the fact that "Europe" is first and foremost a geographical term and that Iceland will always be a part of Europe in that sense (I at least can't see that change).

But then again, some believe (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/318) that America is in fact more European than Europe itself. That is closer to the true European values. I for one agree.

But of course most Icelanders think of them as European, after all they are. However, many nevertheless look more to the United States politically.