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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.1 General context

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Definitions and concepts
  2. Institutions of representative democracy

Definitions and concepts

There are no definitions, concepts, or specific terminology regarding youth participation which might compromise the understanding of an external reader.


Institutions of representative democracy

Iceland is a Republic with a parliamentary government. Althingi shares its legislative power with the President of Iceland. Furthermore, the President exercises executive power along with various governmental authorities. An example of this shared power can be found in the Icelandic Constitution, article 26:

 If Althingi has passed a bill, it shall be submitted to the President of the Republic for confirmation not later than two weeks after it has been passed. Such confirmation gives it the force of law. If the President rejects a bill, it shall nevertheless become valid but shall, as soon as circumstances permit, be submitted to a vote by secret ballot of all those eligible to vote, for approval or rejection. The law shall become void if rejected but otherwise retains its force.

Althingi is the main representative institution on a national level. Regional assemblies advocate for the interests of the region and seek to improve the quality of life in the municipalities in the region. The Association of Municipalities in the Westfjords is a regional assembly for the Northwest part of Iceland and the municipalities within. Each municipality has a municipal council that deliberates on the affairs of the municipality.

Voting is not compulsory in Iceland, regardless of the type of elections taking place.