Screening meeting with the European Union on Chapter 26 – Education and culture – was concluded in Brussels 14 January. At the meeting, which was the latter one of two, experts from Iceland and the EU compared legislation of the Chapter. The Icelandic team was headed by Mr. Harald Aspelund, chairman of the EEA II negotiation team. No discussion took place on special solutions, exemptions or adjustments, as Iceland already participates in the cooperation framework in the area of education, training, youth and culture through the EEA-Agreement.
The area of education and culture are primarily the competence of the Member States, though the EU has the authority to coordinate and initiate programs, which the Member States agree are to be beneficiary in the field of education and culture.
With the EU enlargement and increased political emphasis on education, the possibilities of the EFTA/EEA states to participate in the policy formulation, has been reduced lately. In the event of Iceland becoming a Member State, the accessibility to cooperation, policy formulation and decision-making, would improve, tuition fee to British schools would be the same as for other EU-citizens, and it would be easier to enjoy the benefits of collaboration with various institutions.