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Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

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Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.


Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The 2011 Report presents the progress achieved by Iceland, particularly on policies relating to development aid and humanitarian aid. The country must pursue regular dialogue with the European Union (EU) on matters relating to foreign affairs.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

ASSESSMENT (according to the Commission’s words)

Iceland has already achieved a high level of alignment with the European rules in the area of external relations. Nevertheless, the country has made further progress, particularly in the areas of development aid and humanitarian aid. In particular, a new strategy has been adopted to increase its official development assistance in the medium term. The country has also undertaken an evaluation of its international agreements which need to be amended or repealed. However, progress must be made in order to align the country’s positions with those of the EU within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Similarly, Iceland has achieved a high level of alignment in the field of foreign, security and defence policy. The country has aligned with the majority of the EU’s declarations and Council decisions when it has been invited to do so. The adoption of a resolution on an Arctic policy highlights its commitment to active participation in the regional organisations of Northern Europe and the Arctic region.

See also

Last updated: 13.10.2011