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Internal Market: Icelandic law on environmental impact assessment process not up to date




Iceland has not implemented a directive on environmental impact assessment process (EIA). The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) will bring the case before the EFTA Court.

“Environmental issues are an important part of the EEA and it is vital that the legislation in Iceland is up to date,” says Högni S. Kristjánsson, ESA College member.

The purpose of the environmental impact assessment process is to ensure that possible environmental impacts are taken into consideration when decisions makers decide whether or not to proceed with a project. The time to implement the directive expired on 16 May 2017, but the directive states that proceedings initiated before that date be in accordance with the rules in force until that time. ESA and Iceland have been in continuous dialogue about the case throughout.

The 2014/52/EU directive defines the environmental impact assessment process (EIA) and ensures proper assessment of projects prior to authorisation if projects, public or private, are likely to have significant effects on the environment. The update allows the EEA countries to simplify EIA procedures and improves the level of environmental protection.

Lodging a case at the EFTA Court is the last step in a formal infringement procedure against an EFTA State. Prior to this, Iceland has been informed about ESA's view and had a chance to bring forward its arguments as well as to settle the case by complying within the applicable deadline.

For further information, please contact:

Ásta Sigrún Magnúsdóttir
Communications officer
tel. +32 2 286 18 78
mob. +32 490 57 63 59

Other EEA Institutions

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