EFTA Surveillance Authority V Iceland
After the results of the 2011 referendum became known, The EFTA Surveillance Authority released the following statement:
|“||The Authority has taken note of the outcome of the Icelandic referendum concerning the Icesave issue. We now expect a swift answer from the Icelandic government to our Letter of Formal Notice of May last year. We will assess the government's reply before we take further steps in the case.
Unless the letter from the government contains arguments that alter our preliminary conclusions in the case, the next formal step would be to send Iceland a final warning, a Reasoned Opinion. This final warning will give Iceland two months to rectify their breach of the EEA Agreement. If Iceland continues to be in breach of the agreement, the case will be sent to the EFTA Court.
On 2 May 2011, the Icelandic Ministry of Economic Affairs published a response to the EFTA Surveillance Authority's letter of 20 May 2010, maintaining that Iceland "did not fail to comply with its obligations under Directive 94/19/EC." On 10 June 2011, the EFTA Surveillance Authority ruled that Iceland should take steps towards paying the full amount to the UK and the Netherlands within 3 months after the ruling. The Icelandic Minister of Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason made a statement to the Icelandic Parliament on the same day rejecting this ruling.
On 14 December 2011, the EFTA Surveillance Authority lodged a formal application with the EFTA Court. The EFTA Court opened the Case E-16/11 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland on 15 December 2011. Defence by the Government of Iceland was received by the court on 8 March 2012 and a reply from the EFTA Surveillance Authority was received on 11 April 2012. The Governments of United Kingdom, Netherlands, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as the European Commission have also filed written observations.
The Oral Hearing in the case took place on 18 September 2012. The judgment will be delivered on 28 January 2013.
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