Democracy and rights
Iceland is the world's most equal country
and prominent in the rights of LGBTQ people. There are
opportunities for improvement in the work against
Iceland is a democracy with strong and independent
institutions. A variety of parties reflect different
views and the opposition can act freely. The elections
are considered free and fair, although the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has
criticized the Icelandic electoral system, which gives
more votes to rural people than cities in the allocation
of seats in parliament.
Offers a comprehensive list of airports in Iceland, including international airports with city located, size and abbreviation, as well as the biggest airlines.
Freedom of assembly, assembly and association is
constitutionally protected, which means civil society
organizations can operate freely and have a great
influence in society. Freedom of religion is
constitutionally protected and complied with.
Iceland is ranked by the World Economic Forum as the
world's most equal country and has twice had a female
prime minister. The government is actively working to
reduce wage differences between women and men. New
legislation calls for equal pay for equal work for all
employers with more than 25 employees. In Parliament, 48
per cent of the members were women in 2017. Iceland is
also far ahead in its work against discrimination on the
grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Harassment of LGBT people is rare. Same-sex couples have
the right to adopt and receive artificial insemination
The size of the country means that many know each
other directly or indirectly, which places high demands
on rules on conflicts of interest and conflict. Despite
the introduction of new ethical rules for
parliamentarians and the appointment of an
anti-corruption steering committee, the Council of
Europe's Group of States Against Corruption (Greco) in
its 2018 report believes that the government has not
taken adequate measures to combat corruption in
In 2016, an international network of burgeoning
journalists revealed through the so-called Panama Papers
that the then prime minister Gunnlaugsson and his wife
had invested tens of millions of dollars in a mailbox
company in the British Virgin Islands tax haven. The
country's interior minister and finance minister were
also mentioned in the documents (see Current policy).
In Transparency International's index of perceived
corruption in 2018, Iceland is ranked 14th, which is a
snap compared to the previous year.
Freedom of expression and media
Freedom of expression is constitutional and well
respected. Individuals can openly criticize state powers
without the risk of reprisals. However, freedom of the
press is not explicitly constitutional but is subject to
freedom of expression, which may give rise to different
interpretations. In connection with the 2017 elections,
there was a notable case where a court rejected the
police's decision to ban media from reporting on the
Prime Minister's dealings with the bank Glitinir.
Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index places
2019 Iceland at 14 out of 180, which is a snap down
Judicial system and legal security
The Icelandic legal system has its basis mainly in
Danish law but also in Norwegian. This means that the
courts are independent in relation to the executive. The
justice system is well-functioning, but the lack of
capacity in the prison service means that the convicted
can wait to serve their sentences. It has happened that
imprisonment is prescribed because they could not be
Iceland comes before the EFTA Court
Icesave's owner Landsbanki makes a first payment to Dutch and British
creditors. At the same time, Iceland is being dragged before the EFTA court,
accused of failing to comply with the deposit guarantee and thus discriminating
against foreign savers when Icesave went bankrupt. Iceland rejects the charges.
Problematic fishing negotiations
Negotiations on EU membership are fast moving forward, but there are problems
in the fisheries sector. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Jón Bjarnason is
critical of the negotiations and may leave the government.
The Icesave deal is coming to an end
Icesave's bankruptcy trustee finds new assets that are expected to suffice to
compensate the affected customers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Thus, the Icelandic taxpayers do not have to stand for the bill. The deal is
thus expected to finally come to an end, although the process may take several
years to complete.
EU negotiations begin
Iceland's negotiations with the EU on membership of the Union begin. A couple
of so-called chapters end immediately.
Volcanic eruption darkens Iceland
Ash from a new volcanic eruption, now in Grímsvötn, puts parts of Iceland in
the dark. The ash cloud stops air traffic in the country and spreads over parts
of northern Europe, where a number of flights may be canceled, including in
Icelanders again vote no to Icesave law
Around 57 percent of participants in the second referendum reject the
Nine are arrested for suspected eco crimes
In connection with the investigation of the major bank Kaupthing's collapse
in 2009, nine people were arrested in London and Reykjavík. They are suspected
of financial crime.
The president stops the Icesave law
The whole thing adopts the new law, but President Grímsson resumes his veto.
The president wants another referendum, which is announced until April of that