EU texts

EU-Iceland-Norway Agreement on applying and developing Schengen

The "Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union, the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway on the association of these two states to the implementation, to application and to the development of the acquis de Schengen" was signed in Brussels on 18 May 1999 and entered into force on 26 June 2000.

The Schengen area and cooperation are founded on the Schengen Agreement of 1985. The area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. The signatory states to the agreement have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Here common rules and procedures are applied with regard to visas for short stays, asylum requests and border controls.

The Schengen area was gradual expanded to include nearly all EU Member States. Non-EU countries that have particular relations with the EU may also take part in Schengen cooperation. This was the case with Iceland, which has been associated with the development of the Schengen Agreements since 19 December 1996.
Although Iceland did not have voting rights in the Schengen Executive Committee, it was able to express opinions and formulate proposals. The agreement on Iceland's (and Norway's) "association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis" served to extend Iceland's involvement.

Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA)

Iceland is one of three countries in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to participate in the European Economic Area, created by the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).

The other two EFTA countries in the EEA are Norway and Liechtenstein, while Switzerland - the fourth member of the EFTA - has remained outside the EEA.

Signed in Oporto on 2 May 1992 and entering into force on 1 January 1994, the treaty aims to have goods, services, capital, and persons move freely about the EEA in an open and competitive environment. To ensure the same conditions for businesses across the entire Internal Market, the EEA Agreement covers competition and state aid rules. It also contains horizontal provisions relevant to the four freedoms, as well as cooperation outside the four freedoms in areas such as research and technological development, information services, education, training and youth, employment, and civil protection, including EEA EFTA participation in EU programmes.

The EEA Agreement does not cover matters relating to the common agricultural and fisheries policies, foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs, which are covered where appropriate by bilateral agreements.