Foreign Minister Lilja Alfreðsdóttir’s bill on the establishment of a National Security Council was passed at Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, yesterday. The council will be responsible for Iceland’s policy on national security and will be chaired by the prime minister.
The legislation will take immediate effect and has hence been established, ruv.is reports.
“This is historical news. For the first time in the history of the republic, a national security policy and national security council have been established, which will review security issues and the miscellaneous challenges we face comprehensively,” Lilja said in a statement.
“I’m proud to have completed this important project with extensive cross-political cooperation. Four foreign ministers in three governments have been involved,” Lilja added. The project began with Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir in 2009.
In addition to the PM, the minister of foreign affairs and minister of the interior will have a seat on the council, along with the undersecretaries of these ministries, the national commissioner of the Icelandic police, director of the Icelandic Coast Guard and a representative from ICE-SAR search and rescue. Two MPs will also have a seat on the council, one from the ruling coalition and one from the opposition.
The bill was passed with 44 votes. No one voted against it but four MPs from the Left-Green Movement abstained. Bright Future proposed a dismissal of the bill but the proposal was rejected.