Centenary of Icelandic independence and sovereignty

Centenary of Icelandic independence and sovereignty

– the people’s celebration!

 Iceland became a free and sovereign state on 1 December 1918, when the Union Treaty with Denmark came into effect. That day may be seen as one of the most important landmarks in Iceland’s campaign for self-determination, which had then been in progress for nearly a century.

The Alþingi (parliament) has passed a resolution on how the centenary of Icelandic independence and sovereignty is to be celebrated – with the emphasis on culture and language, and with wide participation by the people of Iceland. The centenary year will be marked in two major ways: on 18 July the Alþingi will commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Union Treaty on that date in 1918, with a celebratory session at Þingvellir, Iceland’s ancient parliamentary site. The event will be televised live. The Union Treaty took effect on 1 December 1918, and the centenary will be celebrated on 1 December all over Iceland in collaboration with universities, local government and the people of Iceland. The government will also be organising events on the centenary.

 Centenary programme to be determined by the people

The people of Iceland are asked to contribute to planning the programme of celebrations during the centenary year. The focus is on a diverse range of high-quality events with relevance to what is being celebrated – whether past, present or future. The intention is to develop a programme that embraces all aspects of society – education, culture, sciences, health, politics, economic development, communications, transport and daily life in Iceland. For further information on guidelines for the centenary programme, see: Propose a Project

The future lies with us

Now we have an opportunity to stop and think:  to look back and recall what has been achieved in Iceland in the past century – and who knows what the future holds, with its opportunities, advantages and challenges? Let’s join together in celebrating Icelandic independence and sovereignty – viewing contemporary events through the prism of national sovereignty. Let’s not only look back, but also reflect that past in the present, and turn our faces to the future, together.



Greeting from the President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

Read Greeting from the President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Sovereignty for us all

Read Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Einar K. Guðfinnsson

Centenary programme in the hands of the people


Read Einar K. Guðfinnsson