The European Union (EU) is keeping its doors open to Iceland which froze EU accession talks under new center-right government taking office following the 27 April elections. Meeting Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson on Tuesday, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urged that Iceland must decide "without further delay" whether to pursue talks to join the European Union, saying "The clock is ticking, and it is also in the shared interest of us all that this decision is taken without further delay." He stated that the EU decision to open accession negotiations remains valid.  "Provided Iceland wants it, we remain committed to continuing the accession negotiation process, which I am certain could address Iceland's specificities," Barroso said.

Barroso noted that the Commission respects the decision of the government regarding the accession process, adding, "we look forward to clarity on the validity of Iceland's membership application after the parliamentary assessment on European Union accession, which will take place this autumn."

"It is in the interest of the European Union and Iceland that a decision is taken on the basis of proper reflection and in an objective, transparent, serene manner. But the clock is ticking, and it is also in the shared interest of us all that this decision is taken without further delay."

Giving anti-EU messages, Iceland's new coalition government announced in May that it would suspend the country's EU membership application until it can hold a referendum within the next four years on whether to continue membership talks.

The previous socialist government called for Iceland's accession to the EU and for adopting European common currency, and its defeat in April elections signaled a more isolated future for the small island nation.

The meeting was also occupied by an argument over mackerel fishing upon EU sanctions against Reykjavik for its decision to raise the quotas for mackerel. Barroso warned Iceland saying "We cannot support unilateral action by our partner countries."

Gunnlaugsson responded dismissing the threat as "unlikely" and added that Iceland had been sustainably fishing for a very long time.

EU fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki Monday said the commission would decide by the end of the month on whether to sanction Iceland which argued it could increase its quotas as more mackerel are migrating northwards due to warmer seas.

 Iceland's Premier Gunnlaugsson also met President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as part of his Brussels visit.