Mission to the EU
The Embassy is a Mission to the European Union as well as being a bilateral Embassy to Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and San Marino. The Principal role of the Mission is to coordinate Iceland’s participation in the EEA Agreement, the Schengen Convention and various other relations and co-operation with the European Union.
The European Economic Area
The European Economic Area (EEA) unites the 28 EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) in to an Internal Market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable goods, services, capital, and persons to move freely in the EEA in an open and competitive environment, a concept referred to as the four freedoms. The objective of the EEA Agreement, as laid down in Article 1, is to promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relations between the Contracting Parties with the view to creating a homogenous European Economic Area. More (from the EFTA's website).
Iceland is a member of the Schengen Area. The practicalities of free movement within an area without internal border controls were first set out by the Schengen Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent Schengen Convention in 1995 that abolished controls on internal borders between the signatory countries.
The Amsterdam Treaty on the European Union, which came into force on the 1 May 1999, incorporated the set of measures adopted under the Schengen umbrella into the Union’s legal and institutional framework. The Schengen area encompasses 22 EU member states as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. New applicants to the Union will have to fulfill these same requirements.
The Schengen principles of free circulation of people are backed by improved and still developing security measures to ensure that the EU's internal security is safeguarded.