Lawmakers in the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, reconvened a marathon debate on Monday to decide if the Reykjavik government should formally apply for membership of the European Union.
Icelanders in the capital Reykjavík are split over EU membership
Iceland's wish to join the European Union received a setback on Sunday when five Green party members sided with the conservative opposition to block a resolution giving approval to the government proposal. The Greens have hinged their support on the coalition government giving the green light to a national referendum on EU membership.
Social Democrat Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is opposed to idea of a referendum delaying accession talks and wants a quick vote so she can deliver Iceland's application on July 27 when Sweden's Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson will be hosting a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Sweden assumed the EU presidency on July 1 and has raised the possibility of Iceland getting favorable treatment becasue of its strong ties to the 27-member bloc.
All politicians agree that once accession talks have been concluded with Brussels, the country's 250,000 eligible voters should have the final say.
In the meantime lawmakers are locked in a bitter, long drawn-out debate with the conservative opposition concerned about Iceland's fishing rights.
Sigurdardóttir says EU membership is the best way to stabilize the island's economy after its banking industry collapsed in the autumn under the weight of the financial crisis.
The eurosceptics seem to have gained the upper hand at the moment and together with Green party defectors have a majority in parliament.
EU officials have said that, if an application is made, Iceland could probably become a full member between 2010 and 2012.
Editor: Neil King
After clashes in eastern Ukraine, European parliamentarian Rebecca Harms suggests tougher sanctions against Russia. She tells DW that Russian President Putin is isolating himself from the international community.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Russia to change course on the unrest in eastern Ukraine. His comments followed Russia's announcement that it would resume military exercises near the border.
The International Monetary Fund has said it will consider a funding package for Ukraine after receiving the necessary documents. Any financial backing will require Kyiv to introduce tough austerity measures.
It's one of Berlin's secret gems. They've been racing horses at Hoppegarten for 150 years, so the circuit is a monument to history - as well as a fine picnic spot. DW's Jefferson Chase tried his luck at the track.