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Progressive Party to Modify Wording of EEA Agreement

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Progressive Party to Modify Wording of EEA Agreement

Minister for the Environment Sigrún Magnúsdóttir.

Sigrún Magnúsdóttir. Photo: Ministry for the Environment.

Minister for the Environment Sigrún Magnúsdóttir of the Progressive Party has stated that all the regulations Iceland must follow as part of the EEA Agreement have long been considered a hindrance by members of her party and suggests that the wording in the Icelandic translation of the EEA regulations be modified.

“I have discussed it in the ministry, after I arrived, that I have often thought to myself whether we might not always be using the right Icelandic words,” Sigrún told Fréttablaðið. Sigrún was appointed minister last month.

The issue was discussed at a Progressive Party meeting on Saturday, where some members of the party declared their skepticism regarding the benefits of EEA membership.

Progressive Party MP Frosti Sigurjónsson, who chairs the Alþingi parliament’s Economic Affairs and Trade Committee, agreed that some parts of the EEA regulations were a burden for Icelanders, although there were good things about them too.

The pros and cons of the EEA Agreement should be evaluated, Frosti argued. “The viewpoint of Icelanders must also be heard. If this is supposed to be a good union, that of the European Economic Area, the conditions here must be taken into consideration. They are different.”

Frosti also believes that Iceland’s membership to the Schengen Agreement should be evaluated too, whether it had been beneficial for the country, such as whether the promise of travel without passports had been fulfilled.

Frosti is planning to bring up Iceland’s EEA and Schengen memberships in the Economic Affairs and Trade Committee and discuss whether they can be replaced by other forms of inter-country relations, such as free-trade agreements.

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