EU Talks: Iceland Wants to Skip Summer Time Skip to content

EU Talks: Iceland Wants to Skip Summer Time

iceland-euflagIceland’s position on transport and free shipping of goods has been presented to the European Commission and EU member states.

Among requests made by the Icelandic negotiation committee is that the country does not adopt summer time if it joins the European Union.

It is expected that negotiations these two chapters, both of which are included in the EEA agreement, can begin later this year, Fréttablaðið reports.

In related news, specialists in administrational law state that if Iceland adopts regulations on new European institutions established to monitor financial markets—as it is obligated to as party to the EEA agreement—it would be in violation of the constitution.

Three new EU institutions and one council launched operations on January 1, 2011, in reaction to the economic crisis in Europe to protect the stability of the financial system.

They have the authority to deprive banks of operating licenses, fine financial institutions and react with various other means in case of emergency.

The Icelandic government appointed legal professors Björg Thorarensen and Stefán Már Stefánsson, both of whom specialize in administrational law, to estimate whether Iceland’s access to these institutions is at odds with the country’s constitution.

Their conclusion, submitted in late April, is that Iceland cannot adopt the regulations that apply to these new institutions unchanged, as Iceland would remise the state’s authority to super-national supervisory institutions, which would be in violation of the constitution.

The constitutions of the other Nordic countries and most European states include articles that authorize such remise.

Björg and Stefán stated that it is necessary to amend the constitution so that the Icelandic legislator can operate within the boundaries of the laws of international cooperation.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told Fréttablaðið that Iceland has two options: either to change the constitution or no longer be party to the EEA agreement. To him it is obvious that the first option should be opted for.

Click here to read more about the constitution and here to read more about Iceland and the EU.


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