Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson appointed yesterday philosopher Salvör Nordal, who is chair of the University of Iceland Institute of Ethics and used to chair the Constitutional Council, as chairperson of a consultation group in connection with Iceland’s accession talks with the European Union.
From left to right: Sigurdsson, Nordal and Jóhannesson. Courtesy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Historian Gudni Th. Jóhannesson, who presides over the Historical Society of Iceland, and Ágúst Sigurdsson, rector of the Agricultural University of Iceland, serve as vice-chairmen, a press release from the Foreign Ministry states.
The group’s purpose is to have regular meetings with Iceland’s negotiation committee and obtain information on the position of certain issues and the progress of accession talks.
The group will evaluate information and present their views to the committee and distribute information on the accession talks to the public, thereby contributing to informed discussions in society on Iceland’s interests and the impact of potential EU membership.
Skarphédinsson will appoint 20 other representatives to the consultation group shortly. Their choice will reflect gender equality, balance between regions and represent different views on EU membership.
They will have the authority to call for consultation from representatives of political parties, interest associations and individuals on matters concerning the EU talks.
The group’s appointment is consistent with the request of the majority of the Icelandic parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which was submitted along with the parliamentary resolution providing the government with the authority to apply for EU membership, that as broad a group as possible participate in the negotiation process.
Iceland’s main interest associations already have direct part in the negotiation process through their representatives in the ten groups that work closely with the Icelandic negotiation committee.
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