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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Screening meeting on External Relations concluded

The screening meeting with the European Union on Chapter 30 – External Relations – was concluded in Brussels on 19 May. At the meeting, which was the latter one of two, experts from Iceland and the EU compared the legislation falling under the Chapter, which is not part of the EEA-Agreement. The Icelandic team was headed by Ms. María Erla Marelsdóttir, chairperson of the External Trade, Foreign and Security Affair negotiation team.

Upon membership, Iceland would participate in the EU common commercial policy.  At the same time Iceland would withdraw from its current free trade agreements and modify and adjust other trade agreements to make them compatible with the EU acquis. Iceland would simultaneously apply EU trade regime (agreements and negotiations) participate in the EU's Trade Policy Committee, where Member States present their interests and opinions in EU trade negotiations with third countries.

At the screening meeting, the Icelandic representatives drew attention to the importance of effective market access for Iceland's primary export goods and services in essential markets outside the EU. It should be ensured in European Union's free trade agreements or negotiations with third countries, that customs duties on key imports for Iceland will be abolished or lowered. A solution must be found regarding the the Hoyvik-Agreement between Iceland and Faroe Islands to safeguard continued trade relations between the two parties.

In their presentation the Icelandic experts emphasized that Iceland has participated in international development cooperation since 1971.  Iceland's policy is based on United Nations Millennium Development Goals, with emphasis on the fight against poverty and hunger, gender equality and the empowerment of women, human rights, democracy sustainable development, peace and security. If Iceland joins the EU, no legislative or administrative changes in the area of development co-operation are needed. In the European Consensus on Development the EU states its agenda to increase its official development assistance to 0.7% of its Gross National Income by 2015. Iceland's policy to achieve the 0.7% goal in 2021 is presented in a parliamentary resolution on a Strategy for Iceland's Development Cooperation 2011-2014, now under deliberation at the Parliament, Althingi.


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