Centre Party Delays Vote on Third Energy Package Skip to content

Centre Party Delays Vote on Third Energy Package

By Yelena

Gunnar Bragi and Sigmundur Davíð
Photo: Gunnar Bragi (left) and Sigmundur Davíð (right)..

Centre Party MPs filibustered through the night to delay Parliament voting on the Third Energy Package, Vísir reports. A parliamentary session that began at 1.30pm yesterday was finally ended at 8.40am this morning, over 19 hours later, Centre Party MPs having exclusively held the podium from around 3.00pm. Parliament resumes session at 3.00pm today.

The main goal of the European Union’s Third Energy Package is to strengthen the internal energy market for gas and electricity in the EU in order to decrease the cost of energy. This is the second time Centre Party MPs monopolise the podium to delay votes on the Third Energy Package, which enjoys majority support in Parliament. On May 15, parliament convened from 3.48pm to 6.18am the next morning, with Centre Party MPs prominent in the debate.

Read More: Third Energy Package

Only five sessions are left in the spring term, which is scheduled to end on June 5. Meanwhile, seventy-one bills await their first reading in the chamber, and ten await their second. Another 105 bills are in the committee stage. In addition to these bills, 113 parliamentary resolutions await parliamentary vote, and ministers have 142 pending questions from MPs to address.

A controversial package

The European Union’s First Energy Package and Second Energy Package have already been agreed upon and adopted by members of the EU and EEA, including Iceland. The Third Energy Package was passed within the EU in 2009.  A decade later, Iceland is the only country that has not agreed to the package. Adopting it has proved controversial among Icelanders, some of whom believe it constituted handing over control of Iceland’s energy to European authorities. However, Iceland is not connected to Europe’s energy network and specialists in European law agree that it would not jeopardise the country’s sovereignty over publicly owned energy resources.  Refusing to sign the agreement would be unprecedented and likely jeopardise Iceland’s membership in the European Economic Area.

Some 300 individuals under 40 were featured in an ad in Fréttablaðið this week in support of the Third Energy Package. Its slogan reads: “Don’t play with our future. We support Iceland’s continued membership in the EEA Agreement. We want a free, open, and international society and stand together against isolationism.” The ad supporters span across the political spectrum.

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