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Steingrímur J. Sigfússon
Photo: Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament Steingrímur J. Sigfússon..

Third Energy Package Debate Postponed Indefinitely

A 134-hour filibuster on the Third Energy Package has finally come to an end, though it may be temporary, RÚV reports. Debate on the topic, which was scheduled to continue in Parliament at 10.40am this morning, has been postponed indefinitely. Centre Party MPs have filibustered on the package for over a week, forcing parliament to set aside all other matters, including dozens of bills, parliamentary resolutions, and pending questions scheduled to be dealt with before June 5, the end of spring term.

Sitting party chairmen met this morning to discuss Alþingi’s progress. At that meeting it was decided that party leaders would meet at 11.00am to try to find ways to break the stalemate in the parliament that the Centre Party filibuster had caused. Due to this decision, the Third Energy Package was taken off the schedule, and MPs began debating a parliamentary resolution on health policy instead. The heavy mood of recent days lifted from the chamber and some laughter was heard among the MPs.

Read More: Third Energy Package

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. The Package was passed within the EU in 2009.  A decade later, Iceland is the only country that has not agreed to the package. Though the package enjoys majority support in Parliament, the Centre Party filibuster has delayed voting on the topic.

Second-longest debate

At 134 hours and eight minutes, the debate on the Third Energy Package is the second-longest in Parliament since 1991. It is just one hour shorter than the Icesave debate and one and a half days longer than the debate on the EEA Agreement.

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