Iceland – Employment and social policy
Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.
Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2011 Report indicates that Iceland has put in place a significant part of the European Union (EU) rules as a result of its participation in the European Economic Area (EEA).
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)
The acquis in the social field includes minimum standards in areas such as labour law, equal treatment of women and men, health and safety at work and anti-discrimination. The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial tool through which the EU supports the implementation of its Employment Strategy and contributes to social inclusion efforts in the fight against social exclusion (implementation rules are covered under Chapter 22, which deals with all structural instruments). The Member States participate in social dialogue at European level and in EU policy processes in the areas of employment policy, social inclusion and social protection.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
The country published a policy declaration (Iceland 2020) which sets objectives in the fields of social policy and employment. The functioning of the mechanisms for social dialogue continues to be satisfactory and a collective agreement on salaries in the private sector has been signed. However, an overall strategy for employment still needs to be drafted.
- Website of the Directorate General for Enlargement, Accession negotiations with Iceland