The European Union Prize for Literature is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.
The participating countries are: all the members of the European Union; the candidate countries for accession to the EU (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey); and the members of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). Each year, national juries in a third of the participating countries nominate their winning authors, meaning that each country nominates a winner once in a three year cycle. "Iceland's year" in 2021 was thus also the year of Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and Tunisia. Iceland has nominated a winner in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2021.
The winners are awarded a prize of 5.000 euros and are urged to apply for translation grants awarded by the European Union.
Sigrún Pálsdóttir: Delluferðin (Runaround. JPV, 2019)
Jury: Elín Edda Pálsdóttir, Helga Ferdínandsdóttir, Maríanna Clara Lúthersdóttir, Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir and Þorgeir Tryggvason.
Halldóra K. Thoroddsen: Tvöfalt gler (Double Glazing. Kind: 2015)
Dagur Hjartarson: Síðasta ástarjátningin (The Last Profession of Love. JPV: 2016)
Jury: Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir (chairman), Ingibjörg Ferdinandsdóttir and Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir
Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir: Jarðnæði (Land of Love, Plan of Ruins. Bjartur: 2011)
Jury: Auður Aðalsteinsdóttir (chairman), Hermann Stefánsson and Ófeigur Sigurðsson
Ófeigur Sigurðsson: Skáldsaga um Jón & hans rituðu bréf til barnshafandi konu sinnar þá hann dvaldi í helli yfir vetur & undirbjó komu hennar & nýrra tíma (A Novel of Jón and the Letters He Wrote to his Pregnant Wife as he Dwelt in a Cave During Winter & Prepaired for the Arrival of Her and the New Age. Mál og menning: 2010)
Jury: Auður Aðalsteinsdóttir (chairman), Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson and Gyrðir Elíasson