Tag Archives: IC

ICT standardisation: modernisation and the way forward

ICT standardisation: modernisation and the way forward

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICT standardisation: modernisation and the way forward

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

ICT standardisation: modernisation and the way forward

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 3 July 2009 – Modernising ICT Standardisation in the EU: the Way Forward [COM(2009) 324 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This White Paper presents various proposals aimed at modernising European Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standardisation policy. This modernisation should allow the needs of industry and society to be met more appropriately.

Why modernise ICT standardisation policy?

In order to ensure that quality ICT standards are developed, it is important that these standards and standardisation procedures meet certain requirements. The European Commission proposes to use the criteria established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to define a list of attributes that ICT standards should fulfil. In particular this list should include openness and transparency, as well as standards covering neutrality, maintenance and intellectual property rights.

The use of ICT standards in public procurement

Public procurement is regulated by Directive 2004/18/EC which allows technical standards to be used in public procurement. Decision 87/95, which lays down EU standardisation policy in the field of ICT, provides guidance for public procurement of ICT systems. This Decision is now considered to be outdated insofar as it only takes into consideration products and not the services and ICT applications that are used today.

The Commission therefore proposes to amend Decision 87/95 and adapt it, as regards public procurement in the field of ICT, to the current needs of the ICT sector.

Fostering synergy between research, innovation and standardisation

Establishing standards in the field of ICT should facilitate the translation of research results into practical applications. In order to do this, the issue of standardisation should be taken into account at an early stage in the research cycle.

The Commission would like to see closer collaboration between European Technology Platforms and standard setting organisations.

Intellectual property rights

ICT interoperability is one of the features of the current technological environment. In this context, taking into account the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) when establishing ICT standards is essential. Establishing standards should not however hinder free competition.

The Commission proposes that standard setting organisations in the field of ICT should implement clear and non-discriminatory policies with respect to IPR which guarantee competition. The Commission also suggests that standard setting organisations consider a declaration of the most restrictive licensing terms, in particular stating maximum royalty rates prior to a standard being adopted.

Integration of fora and consortia

Current European standardisation policy only takes into account standards established by European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs). Increasingly however, ICT standards are established by fora and consortia (e.g. standards relating to Internet protocols established by IETF or web accessibility guidelines produced by W3C). The Commission now wishes to see better cooperation between these ICT fora and consortia and the ESOs.

The Commission also considers it necessary to authorise the use of standards established by fora and consortia in order to fill specific standardisation gaps.

Enhancing dialogue and partnership with stakeholders

Decision 87/95 establishes a Committee: the Senior Officials group on standardisation in the field of Information Technology (SOGITS). This group is responsible for assisting the Commission in implementing the Decision and may extend invitations to experts. However, until now its success has been relatively limited.

The Commission wishes to replace the SOGITS Group by a platform bringing together all stakeholders concerned by ICT standardisation policy. This organisation would be based on the model of the ICT Standard Board (ICTSB) whose function and current composition the Commission wishes to review.

Context

ICT represents a key industrial sector in the 21st century. In 2007, the European ICT industry had a turnover of EUR 670 billion and accounted for over 5 % of employment. European ICT nevertheless requires a clear standardisation framework which will foster competitiveness and innovation.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

ICT infrastructures for e-science

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICT infrastructures for e-science

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – ICT infrastructures for e-science [COM(2009) 108 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at developing the infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs), also known as “e-Infrastructures”, in the area of e-science.

The potential of e-Infrastructures

The performance of information technology is constantly improving with regard to computation capacity, storage capacity and network speed. It allows new needs to be met in terms of modelling and simulation in sectors such as research into climate change or targeted healthcare but generates problems when designing e-Infrastructures.

It is therefore necessary to adopt ICTs to each phase of the scientific process, so that researchers can work together efficiently. This adoption will also allow the scope of research to be extended, which should generate, in the long term, a scientific renaissance and contribute to the success of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs.

The current position of e-Infrastructures

The European Commission’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development has promoted the development and deployment of e-Infrastructures, in order to strengthen scientific excellence, and to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.

 GEANT is the world’s largest multi-gigabit communication network for researchers and educators. In Europe, GEANT is widely used and connects 34 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

E-science grids (devoted to subjects such as high-energy physics and bioinformatics) are also present in Europe, in particular through EGEE which operates a multi-disciplinary grid with over 80 000 computers on 300 sites in 50 countries worldwide.

Scientific data necessitates new tools and methods. Projects are being developed in Europe so that all scientific content resources are accessible through e-Infrastructure services.

A new supercomputer infrastructure has been identified by ESFRI as a priority to improve European scientific performance and meet socio-economic challenges. The combined action of Member States and the Commission will generate the creation of PRACE, a new European e-Infrastructure dedicated to high-performance computing.

Global Virtual Research Communities are growing fast, which is opening up new perspectives for collaboration in the field of research on a worldwide scale.

European strategy for e-Infrastructures

The Commission proposes a renewed strategy to meet the challenges of e-science for 2020 and beyond. Three interrelated vectors are key to this strategy:

  • attaining worldwide leadership in e-science;
  • establishing e-Infrastructures;
  • exploiting these e-Infrastructures in order to promote innovation.

GEANT must continue to increase its performance in collaboration with NRENs, so as to facilitate access to resources and equipment for researchers, educators and students. Both developed and developing regions must be covered. In this regard, Member States must prioritise the use of GEANT as an experimental platform.

Industry is to be invited to use European e-Science grids. To this end, Member States must develop National Grid Initiatives (NGIs). The European Commission plans to facilitate interaction between European e-Science grids and global grids.

Access to scientific information must be improved by developing data-centric science. Member States thus have a duty to invest in the field of scientific data infrastructures and exchange best practice.

A new generation of supercomputing facilities must be implemented. The European Union must comply with the ESFRI objectives which aim to achieve peta-flop performance by 2010 and move towards exa-scale computing in 2020. Research and development in software and hardware must therefore be intensified so as to implement supercomputers. The preparatory work carried out by PRACE is a starting point for Member States that are also invited to invest in associated research fields. In the mid-term, the Commission will prepare a European scientific agenda in the field of supercomputing, covering the components, systems, software and services required.

Member States are also requested to fully exploit infrastructures to serve science and research. The objective is to host global virtual research communities.

Context

A new vision for the European Research Area based on the free movement of knowledge (the “fifth freedom”) was defined at the 2008 Ljubljana Council meeting. Moreover, the Aho Report of May 2008 highlighted the importance of developing infrastructures that would allow e-science to be disseminated. This indeed represents a new scientific revolution. It is essential for the European Union to be at the cutting edge of innovation in this field.

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Interaction of the information society with certain policies

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

2 emissions to be reduced considerably whilst bringing the European Union up to a high level of innovation and competitiveness.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 12 March 2009 on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy [COM(2009) 111 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication describes measures aimed at fully exploiting the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The objective is to reduce carbon footprints in all sectors of society and the economy whilst maintaining high energy efficiency.

The role of ICTs

ICTs can:

  • reduce the quantity of energy required to provide a given service;
  • produce quantitative data on which energy-efficiency strategies can be devised, implemented and evaluated.

The challenges of ICTs and action to be implemented

Situation

ICTs used in the delivery of services represent about 1.75% of carbon emissions in Europe and 0.25% of carbon emissions come from the production of ICT and consumer electronic equipment. The remaining 98 % of emissions come from other sectors of the economy and society.

At the moment there is a lack of quantitative data concerning the potential and effective impacts of ICTs. It is essential to harmonise methodologies for the measurement and quantification of energy performance, in order to have access to data which allows new energy-saving strategies to be developed and “greenwashing” practices (pdf > src=”../../../wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif” Title=”PDF” border=”0″ class=”alIco/”>) to be avoided.

Measures

In order to harmonise the use of ICTs to serve energy efficiency, the European Commission plans to present three types of measures:

  • measures common to energy consumption and carbon emissions and related to the production techniques of the ICT sector;
  • measures to promote energy efficiency and a reduction in emissions in the ICT sector and major energy-using sectors;
  • measures aimed at mainstreaming the use of tools based on ICTs that are likely to trigger a shift in the behaviour of consumers, businesses and communities and thus support demand for innovative ICT solutions.

Buildings and transport

The buildings sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the EU. The use of ICTs would lead to a reduction of 11 % in total energy consumption by 2020 using techniques such as intelligent sensors and optimisation software.

Partnerships between public and private sectors should be established in order to develop green technologies, as well as energy-efficient systems and materials in buildings. In addition, a recast of the directive on the energy performance of buildings is proposed.

Transport represents about 26% of energy consumption in the EU. Cooperation between the ICT sector and transport logistics should allow the quality of information concerning energy consumption and carbon emissions in the transport sector to be improved.

The development of new behaviour

Tools allowing a carbon footprint to be reduced do exist. The generalisation of their use should lead to new behaviour emerging. Smart metering can allow for real-time information flows between network operators, energy suppliers and consumers, allowing them to better manage and control their energy consumption and associated costs.

Member States are therefore invited to stimulate demand for innovative solutions based on ICTs by including energy efficiency requirements in their policies for construction, town planning and public procurement and by supporting innovative projects.

In this regard, the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 provides for EUR 86 billion for investment in research, development and innovation, which includes ICT use and technology development.

In order to support the implementation of the recommended measures, the European Commission is introducing several initiatives such as the creation of a web portal dedicated to the exchange of best practice, or the publication of a practical guide for regional and local authorities.

Context

In December 2008, the Union confirmed its commitment to make a reduction of 20 % in its carbon emissions by 2020. The economic and financial crisis has reinforced its will to pursue these objectives and to build a more sustainable economy in the long term.

ICTs have a major role to play in attaining these objectives since they are present in virtually all parts of the economy and could contribute to increasing productivity by more than 40 %.

Iceland – Justice and security

Iceland – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Justice and security

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Iceland – Justice and security

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In its 2011 Report the Commission notes Iceland’s progress on justice and security, even though the country already applies high standards, as well as a significant part of the European Union (EU) acquis relating to these areas.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, combating organised crime and cooperation with regard to drug trafficking, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, Member States need to be equipped to ensure that they are able to implement adequate standards and an increasing number of common rules. In order to do this, it is important first and foremost that the bodies responsible for applying the law and other competent bodies have robust and integrated administrative capacities which comply with the set standards. The setting up of a professional, reliable and efficient police force is of paramount importance. The Schengen acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU, is the most detailed element of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security. However, substantial parts of the Schengen acquis are implemented by the new Member States, following a separate decision taken by the Council after their accession.

EU policies relating to the judicial system and fundamental rights aim at pursuing and aiding the development of the Union as an area for freedom, security and justice. The establishment of an independent and efficient judicial system is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and a high level of competency regarding the rulings made by courts are essential in maintaining the rule of law. This requires a firm commitment to eliminate all external influences on the judicial system and to dedicate the appropriate financial resources and training facilities to it. It is necessary to offer the necessary legal guarantees to ensure fair judicial procedures. Member States must also tackle corruption effectively insofar as it represents a risk to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It is necessary to establish a solid judicial framework and reliable institutions to which a coherent policy for preventing and dissuading corruption may be applied. Member States must ensure that the fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens, as guaranteed by the acquis and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, are respected.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

The country has continued to reinforce the independence of the judiciary and the anti-corruption policy framework. Further monitoring of the implementation of these measures is required. The country also continued to reinforce the protection of fundamental rights. The monitoring of these measures must also be reinforced.

Alignment of legislation relating to citizens’ rights and data protection has not been achieved.

Iceland continues to apply the Schengen Agreement and the alignment of its legislation in the fields of justice, freedom and security has progressed satisfactorily. Additional effort is expected in order to ratify and implement international instruments relating to child protection, and combating organised crime and counterfeiting.

Iceland – Transport

Iceland – Transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > International dimension and enlargement

Iceland – Transport

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report notes Iceland’s good level of alignment on transport, due to its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA). The country must pursue the implementation of these provisions throughout the pre-accession period.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU transport legislation aims at improving the functioning of the internal market by promoting safe, efficient and environment- and user-friendly transport services. The transport acquis covers the sectors of road transport, railways, aviation, maritime transport and inland waterways. It covers technical and safety standards, social conditions, the monitoring of state aid and market liberalisation in the context of the internal transport market.

EVALUATION

The country achieved a satisfactory level of alignment in the field of transport policy. However, it must still transpose the European legislation applicable to air and road transport.

Iceland – Energy

Iceland – Energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Energy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Security of supply external dimension and enlargement

Iceland – Energy

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In its 2011 Report the Commission states that Iceland has achieved a high level of alignment which is largely due to the application of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

Community energy policy objectives include the improvement of competitiveness, security of energy supplies and the protection of the environment. The energy acquis consists of rules and policies, notably regarding competition and State aid (including in the coal sector), the internal energy market (for example, opening up of the electricity and gas markets, promotion of renewable energy sources, crisis management and oil stock security obligations), energy efficiency, nuclear energy and radiation protection.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Overall, Iceland’s level of alignment continues to be satisfactory in the field of energy. However, progress must still be achieved concerning oil stocks, the independence of the regulatory authority and energy efficiency.

Iceland – Employment and social policy

Iceland – Employment and social policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Employment and social policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Employment and social policy: international dimension and enlargement

Iceland – Employment and social policy

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

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.

Iceland – Environment

Iceland – Environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Environment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Environment: cooperation with third countries

Iceland – Environment

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report presents a positive evaluation of Iceland’s alignment, which already applies a large part of the European Union (EU) acquis due to its participation in the European Economic Area (EEA). The country has also reinforced its administrative capacity in the field of the environment.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

Community environment policy aims to promote sustainable development and protect the environment for present and future generations. It is based on the integration of environmental protection into other Community policies, preventive action, the polluter pays principle, fighting environmental damage at source and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises over 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, nature protection, industrial pollution and risk management, and noise.

Ensuring compliance with the acquis requires significant investment, but also brings significant benefits for public health and reduces costly damage to forests, buildings, landscapes and fisheries. A strong and well-equipped administration at national, regional and local level is imperative for the application and enforcement of the environment acquis.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Iceland has made new progress, even though its level of alignment was already high with regard to the environment. For the most part, the institutional structures are in place and operational. Full compliance with the acquis on nature protection still needs to be finalised, particularly with regard to whales, seals and wild birds, and also the conservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna. This requirement also applies to the water sector, in particular to alignment with the Framework Directive on the marine strategy.

Additional progress is also required concerning climate change, including with regard to air transport and the Emissions Trading System.

In certain areas, Iceland must gradually align with the EU positions in international environmental fora. The country must also ratify the principal multilateral agreements on the environment.

Iceland – Health and consumers

Iceland – Health and consumers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Health and consumers

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Iceland

Iceland – Health and consumers

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Although Iceland’s level of alignment is satisfactory, the 2011 Report highlights the progress still required on consumer policy. The country is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis in this area covers protection of the economic interests of consumers in a number of specific sectors (misleading and comparative advertising, price indication, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, distance and doorstep selling, package travel, timeshare, injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests, certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees), as well as general safety of consumer goods (liability for defective products, dangerous imitations and general safety of goods) and distance marketing of consumer financial services. The Member States of the European Union (EU) must transpose the acquis into their national law, and establish administrative structures and independent implementation bodies which ensure real market surveillance and effective application of the acquis. They must also provide appropriate judicial and out-of-court dispute resolution mechanisms. Furthermore, they must ensure that consumers are informed and educated and that consumer organisations play an active role. This chapter also covers certain binding rules with regard to public health.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Iceland has already achieved a good level of alignment and implementation of the acquis in the fields of consumer protection and health. However, additional effort is required in order to achieve full alignment, particularly concerning consumer protection. More active participation in the RAPEX system is essential.

Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Iceland

Iceland – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report presents the progress achieved by Iceland, particularly on policies relating to development aid and humanitarian aid. The country must pursue regular dialogue with the European Union (EU) on matters relating to foreign affairs.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

ASSESSMENT (according to the Commission’s words)

Iceland has already achieved a high level of alignment with the European rules in the area of external relations. Nevertheless, the country has made further progress, particularly in the areas of development aid and humanitarian aid. In particular, a new strategy has been adopted to increase its official development assistance in the medium term. The country has also undertaken an evaluation of its international agreements which need to be amended or repealed. However, progress must be made in order to align the country’s positions with those of the EU within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Similarly, Iceland has achieved a high level of alignment in the field of foreign, security and defence policy. The country has aligned with the majority of the EU’s declarations and Council decisions when it has been invited to do so. The adoption of a resolution on an Arctic policy highlights its commitment to active participation in the regional organisations of Northern Europe and the Arctic region.