Iceland one step closer to the EU

24.10.2012 - 14:16

The third meeting for the accession of Iceland to the EU took place today in Brussels. During the Accession Conference, three new chapters opened for negotiations: financial services, statistics and customs union.

Regarding financial services, EU expressed the view that Iceland demonstrates satisfactory progress in line with the existing EU acquis. Furthermore, it makes efforts to fully implement the Directive on deposit-guarantee schemes and the ‘Omnubus I’ Directive, concerning the new European financial supervisory authorities. Its actions to fulfill its obligations also agree with the EEA Agreement. In addition, EU will grant Iceland’s request to make certain legislative amendments as to include the Viðlagatrygging Islands within the exceptions foreseen under the Solvency II Directive on EU insurance regulation.

As far as statistics are concerned, Iceland is obliged as part of the transmission programme, to provide annual financial and non-financial accounts to the EU, categorized by economic sectors and transactions, as well as statistics.

In terms of customs union, Iceland has implemented the Customs Union legislation and developed the administrative capacity and IT interconnectivity and consequently, it demonstrates sufficient progress.

With today’s conference, 21 chapters out of 35 have been thoroughly discussed, while 10 of them have already been provisionally closed. Another Accession conference is planned to take place in December.

The European Union delegation was headed by Kornelios S. Korneliou, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the European Union. The European Commission was represented by Director General Stefano Sannino and the Icelandic delegation was led by Stefan H. Johannesson, Iceland’s chief negotiator to the EU.

Iceland applied for EU membership in July 2009 and the Commission issued a favourable opinion in February 2010. In June 2010, the Council decided that accession negotiations would be opened.