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Bill Proposes Opening Government Jobs to Non-Europeans

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Bill Proposes Opening Government Jobs to Non-Europeans

Alþingi, Iceland's parliament

Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

The Reform Party has put forth a bill proposing civil service jobs be opened to non-European citizens, RÚV reports. Icelandic law currently requires all civil servants to be citizens of Iceland, an EEA country, or the Faroe Islands.

Citizenship requirements for civil servants in Iceland are unique among Nordic countries. In Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, government jobs are open to all individuals who hold the required work permit.

The bill is being introduced in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, for the second time. Its exposition points out that current law divides foreigners in Iceland into two groups. One group has the same opportunities as Icelanders within government jobs through the EEA Agreement, while the other does not.

MPs have pointed out that the rule also applies to citizens of non-EEA countries who are permanent residents of Iceland or who hold valid work permits for similar jobs. Reform Party MPs say the law is a child of its time and unnecessarily restrictive. They also mention that abolishing citizenship requirements would not change language or skill requirements for the jobs in question. Government officials such as judges and police officers would still be required to hold Icelandic citizenship.

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