Iceland: Government

Republic of Iceland Flag
Coat of Arms of Republic of Iceland

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Head of Government: Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson

Overview

Government Name: Republic of Iceland

Constitution: Adopted: 1944; Established the world's oldest parliament (Althing) and declared the country's independence from Norway and Denmark

Government Type: Constitutional Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The president is a ceremonial office position and serves as a diplomat and figurehead. The prime minister acts as an executive authority upon the cabinet of ministers.

The president is elected by plurality vote. The prime minister is appointed by the president with the approval of parliament.

4 years

Judicial

Final court of appeal in Iceland.

Judges are proposed by the ministry of interior selection committee and are appointed by the president.

Life appointment

Legislative

Parliament is the main legislative body in charge of creating legislature.

54 members are elected through an open-list proportional representation system and another 9 members are elected by open-list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies.

4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Iceland has greatly increased its international profile since the early 1990s. From the mid-1990s until 2007, Iceland opened a number of missions overseas, including in all five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council in anticipation of its (ultimately unsuccessful) bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council in 2009-2010. The buildup also included missions to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Vienna. In 1998, it bolstered its delegation to NATO, assigning a permanent representative to the military committee for the first time ever. However, in the wake of the economic crisis in fall 2008, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced budget cuts resulting in the closure of four overseas missions. Iceland currently has 20 missions in 16 countries.

Regional Trade Blocs: No Regional Trade Blocs.

Treaties: NATO


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

Arctic Council Australia Group BIS CBSS CD CE
EAPC EBRD EFTA EU FAO FATF
IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC ICRM IDA
IFAD IFC IFRCS IHO ILO IMF
IMO IMSO Interpol IOC IPU ISO
ITSO ITU ITUC MIGA NATO NC
NEA NIB NSG OAS OECD OPCW
OSCE PCA Schengen Convention UN UNCTAD UNESCO
UPU WCO WHO WIPO WMO WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification
Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Marine Dumping Marine Life Conservation
Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands Whaling

Note: Click table to see details



Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary