Defining an interest: the European Union and the High North
- Defining an interest: the European Union and the High North
- Conference: The EU as an Arctic actor
- SWP colloquium on Arctic Security
- The EU's involvement in the Arctic
- Council conclusions on Arctic issues
- Commissioner Borg on EU Arctic policy
- Stakeholder seminar in Berlin
- Developing an EU Arctic Policy: Towards a Coherent Approach?
- SWP Berlin on Arctic Security
- Norway and Northern Europe in the post-Lisbon European security framework
- All Pages
An EU Arctic Policy?
Professor Clive Archer gives you an account of the EU’s Arctic policy in recent years.
The European Union’s involvement in the Arctic
- EU’s first involvement was the ‘Arctic Window’ of Northern Dimension, this was mostly ignored.
- 2007: the European Commission’s Integrated Maritime Strategy mentioned the Arctic Ocean in the context of global warming.
- March 2008: EU's High Representative & Commission policy paper on Climate change and international security points to Arctic & suggests EU Arctic policy
- October 2008: European Parliament’s debate
- 2008 Commission Communication on EU and Arctic region
The European Parliament’s involvement
- European Commission's October 2007 Communication on Integrated Maritime Policy - will deal with Arctic by the end of 2008
- European Parliament October 2008: Questions and debate led by Diana Wallis (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, ALDE)
- Resolution on Arctic governance adopted 9 October 2008:
- Referred to Russian flag incident (Aug 2007); UNCLOS; oil & gas; global warming
- Effect on Inuit & wild-life of warming
- 3 EU member states (Denmark, Finland & Sweden) and 2 European Economic Area states (Iceland & Norway) in Arctic Council
- Arctic not governed by specific norms and regulations, never expected to be navigable or for commercial exploitation
- Concern about environment, traffic; energy & security policy in Arctic
- Wants special mention of Arctic at Copenhagen 2009 Climate Change conference
- Suggests observer status for European Commission in AC;
- Outlines basis for European Commission Communication on the Arctic
- Suggests international treaty for protection of Arctic based on Antarctic Treaty
The European Commission’s Arctic Paper 2008
- Implement existing obligations rather than new instruments (answer to EP)
- But develop some frameworks and adapt to Arctic conditions
- Arctic EU members should not be excluded from any discussions (Ilulissat Declaration)
- Arctic to be integrated into EU policies & negotiations.
- Closely follow negotiations (especially UNCLOS)
- EU should have permanent observer status of AC
- Further Northern Dimension projects especially on environment & energy should be encouraged
- New framework for ecosystem management possible?Cross-border cooperation & programmes
- Integrate Maritime Strategy Framework directive into EEA
- Explore idea of European Arctic Information centre
- i.e. many small steps
Why an EU policy?
- External reasons:
- Growing economic importance of Arctic
- Increased environmental importance
- Russia’s activism in region
- US, Norway & Canada developing Arctic policies, later Russia
- Greenland moving to independence
- Internal reasons
- Need for EU presence in all parts of world
- Inter-agency rivalry: EP, Commission, High Representative
- What to do after last enlargement?
- Geographic balance within EU
- Failure of ND’s Arctic window Where to next?
- Institutional battles over Arctic: EU, AC, BEAC, NATO, UN
- The Russian question: what does Russia want in the region?
- The Greenland question: what can Greenland manage?
- Norway in between: EEA, Svalbard, Barents. Has the “High North” succeeded as a policy?
- The next European Commission: who gets what?
See also the web site of the EU on the Arctic region
by Clive Archer, emeritus professor, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and associated individual researcher of the Geopolitics in the High North programme. Outline of a talk given at The Norwegian Atlantic Committee, September 2009