Iceland aims to become a dynamic society capable of protecting its welfare in a manner that is sustainable and serves all members of the community by the year 2020.
The Iceland 2020 policy statement is a vision for the future, which developed through dialogue and collaboration between hundreds of Icelanders throughout the country and in consultation with regional associations, local authorities, trade unions and economic interest groups. The recommendations it contains are the fruit of those meetings, the work of expert groups, and assessments and analyses conducted by university institutions to ascertain which external factors could have an impact on the development of Iceland in the years ahead. These meetings and projects were carried out under the umbrella of the Moving Iceland Forward initiative. The objective of the task is to establish a vision, which with concrete objectives can help to place Iceland at the forefront of other nations in the fields of value creation, education, welfare and quality of life.
Iceland 2020 is a policy statement for an efficient economy and society. It includes plans for investments in human resources and the necessary infrastructures for the economy, as well as policies on how to strengthen education and culture, innovation and development, the environment and social infrastructure. The aims are based on a draft of an economic activity plan, which was developed in consultation with representatives from trade unions and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, as well the chairpersons of Science and Technology Policy Council committees and parliamentary party representatives.
The guiding principle from the very outset has been to establish an integral vision and common objectives to ensure more targeted and effective policy-making and planning within the public sector. Following this, public planning is to be simplified and consolidated with a view to bolstering the economy and education and facilitating the restructuring of public services. Simplified planning is therefore designed to ensure a better optimisation of financial resources and more effective collaboration between public administration and institutions.
In the development of the policy statement, particular consideration was given to those groups that risk long-term unemployment in the wake of the financial crisis. In a period of economic downturn, it is more important than ever to ensure that plans are in place to strengthen social participation and the active inclusion of all citizens, in addition to boosting the social infrastructure of welfare services, the education system and culture. All of the tasks that fall under Iceland 2020 are expected to incorporate gender perspectives into their work.
A dynamic and diversified economy characterised by responsible growth is the cornerstone on which Iceland 2020 is founded. A key factor in ensuring successful development is the emphasis on social knowledge, welfare and sustainability. In order to be able to evaluate the progress of the implementation of the Iceland 2020 policy statement, 15 measurable objectives have been established in a proactive consultative process with the nation over the past months, in addition to 5 objectives that relate to economic prosperity and the quality of life. Policies and public plans will be reviewed and integrated to work towards these objectives.
The policy statement presents 30 actions and tasks that are designed to be the first steps towards reaching the goals of Iceland 2020. One of the most important tasks will be the investment plan for the development of infrastructure, employment, human resources and society. This calls for the simplification, integration and merging of all the main aspects of strategic public planning and long-term budgeting. The principal elements that are presented in this strategy were agreed upon by the majority of those who participated in the meetings and national assemblies held within the framework of the Moving Iceland Forward initiative.
The document is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on the vision for the future and measurable objectives, while the second section presents recommendations and tasks that fall under the areas of responsibility of specific ministries.