Screening meeting on Information society and media concluded
The screening meeting between Iceland and the EU on chapter 10, Information society and media, was concluded yesterday. At the meeting, which lasted one day, experts from Iceland and the European Union compared the legislation in this chapter, which includes specific rules on electronic communications, on information society services and rules to protect children against harmful television material. Iceland's implementation of the relevant regulations was discussed, but chapter ten is part of the EEA-Agreement and Iceland has already adopted the legislation.
If Iceland joins the European Union, Icelandic legislation on Information society and media would remain the same, though EU decision to allocate frequency band between 2500-2690, which is utilized for digital television broadcasting in Iceland, can require some revision. Also, the Commission was informed at the meeting that the EFTA-states have asked for adjustments regarding ban on alcohol commercial across borders.
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The European Union law is divided in 33, in addition to two chapters on Institutions and Other issues. Before formal negotiations on individual chapters begin, an analytical overview of the national legislation of the applicant state is performed, to evaluate its degree of harmonization with EU law and what needs to be negotiated upon. The comparison is referred to as screening. Two screening meetings are scheduled around most chapters. At the former one, the Commission explains the acquis to Iceland and at the latter one Iceland introduces its legislation. Only one meeting is scheduled around chapters which Iceland has adopted fully in its legislation through the EEA-Agreement.
The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published the timetable for the screening meetings, which are expected to be concluded in June 2011. Further information about the content of individual chapters and Iceland's negotiation committee is to be found at the Ministry's website on Iceland's accession talks, europe.mfa.is.