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Research Topics

Actors and patterns of cooperation and conflict
Russia, Norway and the High North - Past, Present, Future
The United States in the 21 Century Arctic
Defining an Interest: The European Union and the High North
The Power of Energy
Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance
Climate Change and Environmental Protection
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Defining an interest: the European Union and the High North

  

The European Union is not a unified actor in the High North. The interests of those member states showing any involvement often point in different directions. The existence of the Northern Dimension does not alter this general picture. This Work Package will focus on the potential for a more unified and integrated European Union High North policy. Emphasis will be on the management and exploitation of natural resources, on traditional security and on issues of jurisdiction.

 

Due to its key role in European processes relevant to this programme, special attention will be paid to the evolution of German attitudes and policies. Some Norwegian observers have claimed that Germany is the sole major European power that can be expected to sympathise with Norway were unsolved issues of jurisdiction to become acute. This being said, other European countries have also declared their interests in the High North. The Work Package will include three major projects:

 

• The potential role for EU energy policy of the High North as an energy province, bearing in mind the current preponderance of national interests of individual EU states over common Union position

• EU member states’ policy on legal issues in the High North, and the prospects for the establishment of a common EU position. Particular focus will be paid to the fishery protection zone and the continental shelf around Svalbard. This project will be closely linked to the work undertaken in Work Package 6.

• The evolution of EU and individual EU member states’ perception of the military security relevance of the High North, and the potential for dialogue between Norway and the EU and individual member states.

 

Participants:

 

 

 


 

3rd annual Geopolitics in the High North international conference in Berlin, (SWP) 22-25 May 2012

“The EU as an Arctic Actor? Interests and Governance Challenges”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            19 June 012

The Geopolitics in the High North program organized its third annual conference in Berlin on 23-25 May. Throughout the three-day conference, scholars and practitioners discussed questions related to the role and interests of the European Union in the Arctic. The main organizer was program partner Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

 

The conference addressed the following topics in various sub sessions: EU interests and governance challenges, the role of the EU and its member states, natural resources, environmental protection, shipping and transport, and security developments.

 

On the last day of the conference young scholars and program participants presented papers on various issues related to the EU and the Arctic. This ranged from security issues, EU actors and interests in the EU Arctic policy making process, to EU perspectives on seal hunting, and a paper on Arctic infrastructure. Selected papers will be included in a special publication based on the conference.

01932

Bernhard Friess (EU Commission), Barbara Lippert (SWP), Rolf Tamnes (IFS)


The first session gathered Arctic policy-makers to discuss the overall topic of the conference from the point of view of their respective governments and governmental institutions. The policies and priorities of Denmark, Norway, Germany and the EU were presented and discussed. The section addressed a broad range of topics, particularly the issues of governance, the Arctic Council and the question of observers. The presenters gave particular attention to the role of the EU in the region in relation to that of the coastal states and EU member states.

 

01948
Claus Grube (DK) and Karsten Klepsvik (NOR)

 

The second session discussed EU Arctic policy, first from a discursive point of view, then by analyzing EU policies towards the Arctic. It was argued that there are various Arctic narratives, that they are often treated as historical explanations, but that there is a need for a methodology to understand narratives. The panelists also noted that the Arctic is a diverse region full of inequalities. Furthermore the section discussed the Commission’s role in EU Arctic policy development and its relations to member states. One argument was that the EU should not strive to develop an Arctic strategy, but a policy instead. The panelists also argued that the EU had something to bring to the table in the region, and that one way in which the EU could impact Arctic developments was to work to make international rules and regulations more effective.

 

The section also noted that narratives impact our thinking on governance, and three various narratives were outlined: The geopolitical, in which the EU would be marginalized; the geoeconomic, which holds promise of a larger role for the EU; and the geoecological, where the EU, it was argued, did not have a high profile in the Arctic as such, but does things at home that will impact Arctic developments. Finally, it was noted that scholars have a responsibility to reflect upon the influence of narratives, and it was suggested that a new narrative on the relationship between humans and the environment be developed.

 

01982
Stefan Steinicke and Andreas Maurer (SWP)

 

Session three addressed the Arctic as a region of natural oil, gas and mineral resources. Scholars and practitioners presented scholarly and industry views on development of and interest in natural resources in the region. The panelists noted that the region was moving up on the agenda of the industry and governments alike, but that in Germany, for instance, the Arctic was after all not more than a third tier issue. The panelists also stressed the challenging conditions for resource extraction in large parts of the region. Moreover, they underlined that there were great differences between various sub regions, questioning the use of the circumpolar Arctic to describe one energy region. The extent of oil and gas resources in the Arctic were discussed. The panel identified Russia was as key to EU energy security in an Arctic perspective, since magnitude of the resource base in the Norwegian parts of the region, it was argued, was uncertain.

 

The fourth session addressed issues of environmental protection in light of new technological developments, and the role of the EU with regard to pollution as well as its contribution to solving the environmental and climate challenges. Various governance structures were also analyzed with a view to identify how prepared we are to meet the challenges. The question of whether the EU needs to engage in Arctic environmental protection was raised. On the one hand, the answer was negative as it was argued that Arctic environmental protection strategies are well developed.  On the other hand, panelists noted that the EU should in fact engage because many of the environmental challenges in the Arctic stem from outside the region, including the EU. It was pointed to the pioneer role of the EU in combating climate change, and that this policy should extend into the Arctic. Several of the presenters argued that many Arctic problems require non-Arctic solutions, varying across issue areas. One role for the EU, it was suggested, was to raise the level of ambition in various fora. The EU also had proven to play an important role in preventing illegal fisheries in the Arctic through its ports control initiatives. Finally, the discussion suggested that the Arctic should be analyzed with a view to the various layers of governance with relevance to the region: The global, the circumpolar, the regional and the local.

 

02037
Olav Schram Stokke (FNI) and Antje Neumann (SWP)

 

The issues of shipping and transport were addressed in the fifth session. The session discussed various regimes for commercial shipping. It was argued that among EU interests were optimal use of navigational rights and freedoms, multilateral regulation of Arctic shipping. From an industry perspective, it was argued that transit voyages such as through the Northern Sea Route were not economically viable for the time being, and that it was almost only destinational shipping that mattered. Constraints on transit voyages included governance, technology and economic factors, although one could significantly shorten down the distance through Arctic transit routes. Other constraints in parts of the Arctic were linked to ice conditions, harsh climate, remoteness and darkness, with following navigation hazards and search and rescue challenges.

 

02046
Joseph Casanovas (EU Commission) and Burghard Zimmermann (Nordic Yards)

 

The sixth session adressed security developments in the region. The session included both overall assessments of Arctic security, as well as specific views on particularly EU, British and German security interests and potential contributions. The interest of non-Arctic actors, such as China, were also touched upon. The dominant view was that cooperation rather than conflict will likely prevail in the Arctic in at least the near future, where cooperation will be focused on addressing soft security challenges. Finally, the session saw a discussion of multilateral and bilateral instruments of security cooperation, notably a quite pogniant debate over what roles NATO may play.

 

02066
Steinicke, Masala Meyer Zum Felde (BAKS)

 

In the concluding session the panelists were asked to address three questions: How does the EU approach Arctic affairs; what should the EU do in its Arctic policies; and finally, what should the Union not do? The answers included suggestions that the EU could impact Arctic developments through its role as a funder of Arctic research, through its environmental and climate policy, by taking advantage of its market power, by setting the agenda in various for a in and outside the region, and by being clear about its priorities. However, it was also pointed to the challenges that the EU faces in not being a unitary actor, with some member states with their own agendas in the region. Furthermore, the discussion urged analysts to be clear about the geographical scope of analysis when discussing Arctic affairs, and to take various layers into consideration when studying Arctic affairs: the global, the circumpolar, the regional and the local. In addition, EU policies for the region, it was argued, must be seen in relation to other states’ policies and interests in order to get the full view.

 

 

 




6 July 2011: The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin) organized a colloquium on Arctic Security.


The purpose of the seminar was to closely examine the question how NATO and the European Union and its member states perceive security issues in the Arctic and how they, consequently, approach them. After a brief introduction of the GeoNor programme, two of its researchers tackled this question in introductory statements.

Helga Haftendorn
, associated researcher of the GeoNor programme, concentrated on the security challenges in the Arctic and explained what role Nato could potentially play.  Stefan Steinicke, research assistant in working package 4 “Defining an interest: The European Union and the High North”, focused on EU member states and analysed their perceptions on the security relevance of the Arctic. Based on the presentations a lively debate ensued between researchers of SWP, external researchers and present diplomatic officials, which was moderated by Dr. Claudia Major.

Some preliminary conclusions can be drawn from the debate:

  • All participants acknowledged the strategic relevance of environmental and economic developments in the Arctic for regional security and stability in Europe.
  • At the same time, participants underlined that non-traditional security dimensions, such as environmental, energy or economic security are of greater relevance to the Arctic than military security. This shared view stands in marked contrast to the thesis of the Arctic’s geopolitical dangers as made by some journalists and academics.
  • Consequently, these non-traditional security issues should not and cannot be addressed by traditional military means alone. A wider array of economic, civil and legal tools are much better suited to deal with the Arctic’s security challenges.
  • Still, military issues are not totally irrelevant. NATO, as Helga Haftendorn pointed out, is important as a force projector for its Arctic members states. And the Arctic respectively is strategically relevant for NATO, for example with its base in Thule. While Nato has always been present in the Arctic via its member states, the Alliance hasn’t yet developed an official Nato policy towards the Arctic region. Whether it should do so is not an easy question to answer. Politically, NATO could be an important forum to provide consultation on Arctic matters for its member states. However, as a military alliance, NATO is not the best placed organization to address the manifold security challenges in the Arctic. In principle, though, the Alliance could enlarge its toolbox in line with its comprehensive approach that it has once more underlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.
  • The EU and its member states, as Stefan Steinicke sumed up, seem to perceive Arctic security developments as becoming more important in recent years. The growing recognition of the security relevance of Arctic affairs can be found in an increasing occupation with the region in strategic documents of EU member states. Especially transport and energy security as well as environmental challenges are recognized as the most pressing topics linked to Arctic security.
  • Given the vast size of the region and the negative implications that the international financial crisis had on national budgets of almost all Arctic coastal states, the transformation of the Arctic will present these states with considerable challenges. The renewal and expansion of adequate infrastructure for resource exploration, shipping, and search and rescue are examples in point. When it comes to developing this infrastructure, the EU and its member states certainly have an added value and can contribute to economic, energy- and environmental security in the region.  Specifically, European capacities were mentioned with regard to the creation of the technical and logistical infrastructure that is needed for the planned search and rescue system. Also, with its satellite and navigation systems the EU could become a valuable partner for Arctic coastal states.
  • Because only some of its member states are directly linked to the region and because the EU as an organization is excluded from the Arctic Council, there has been a debate on its strategic outlook for the region. Some participants have advocated an approach in which the EU places emphasis on cooperative measures and continues to extend its political and technical expertise to Arctic states. Developments in the Arctic have to be dealt with in a medium to long term perspective by all actors active and interested in this changing region. However, as economic actors heavily invest already today in the region, policy makers have to lay the legal, political and operational rules and procedures soon.

 

 


 

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

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

  • Objectives:
    • 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. 
  • Proposals:
    • 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

 


 

Council conclusions on Arctic issues
introduction by Ida Holdhus, Master Research Fellow, Norwegian Instiute for Defence Studies, 3 February 2010

Council conclusions on Arctic issues

  • Adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting 8 December 2009.
  • Builds on the 2008 Commission’s Communication on the European Union and the Arctic 
  • Is meant to constitute a next step towards what the Council considers “the gradual formulation of a policy on Arctic issues to address EU interests and responsibilities, while recognising Member States’ legitimate interests and rights in the Arctic” (emphasis added).
  • Supports three main policy objectives proposed by the Commission:
    • Protecting and preserving the Arctic
    • Promoting sustainable use of natural resources
    • Contributing to enhanced governance
  • 23 points are presented - some of a general nature, others reiterate earlier positions but the document also includes specific proposals for action.
  • Provides the Commission with guidelines as to the formulation of an Arctic policy.
  • The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1st December 2009 gives increased legislative powers to the Parliament, but it is too early to draw conclusions as to the relative influence of the EU institutions in the formulation of an EU Arctic policy. 
  • The Council requests the Commission to present a report on progress made in these areas by the end of June 2011.

 

Some substantial points include:

Protecting and preserving the Arctic

  • The Council invites Member States and the Commission to support efforts to protect Arctic ecosystems, encouraging Arctic states to develop marine protected areas (Point 5).
  • The Commission is invited to present a work plan for monitoring, research, restriction of use and destruction of hazardous chemicals released into and inside the Arctic (Point 9).
  • The Council underlines the importance of supporting sustainable development for indigenous peoples, including on the basis of their traditional means of livelihood (point 3)

Sustainable use of resources

  • The Council underlines that in the implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy harvesting of Arctic marine living resources should be managed on the basis of scientific advice as part of an ecosystem perspective (point 10).
  • The Council favours a temporary ban on new fisheries in those Arctic waters not yet covered by an international conservation system (point 10).
  • The Commission and Member States are invited to examine the possibilities to endorse the revised Arctic Council Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines of 2009 (point 4)

Governance

  • The Council supports the applications by Italy and the Commission to become permanent observers in the Arctic Council (point 17). 
  • The Council welcomes the IMO’s amendment of the existing guidelines for ships operating in polar waters and the agreement to develop a new mandatory instrument for ships operating in polar waters (point 12).
  • It reiterates the rights and obligations for flag, port and coastal states provided for in international law in relation to freedom of navigation, the right of innocent passage and transit passage, and will monitor their observance (point 16).


Commissioner Joe Borg: Towards an EU Arctic policy

December 2008: The Commission Communication of 20 November on the "European Union and the Arctic" is an important contribution to dealing with the challenges faced by the Arctic, in an open dialogue with the Arctic States, the people living in the Arctic and with other stakeholders.

The Communication aims at developing an EU Arctic policy to better coordinate EU policies in areas such as environment, energy, research, fisheries and external relations, which have an impact on the Arctic region. The emerging policy should meet three main policy objectives:

  • Protecting and preserving the Arctic in unison with its population
  • Promoting sustainable use of resources
  • Contributing to enhanced Arctic multilateral governance.

Read more here



 

On 27 May 2010, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) conducted a stakeholder seminar on the EU’s interest towards the Arctic, entitled “The EU and the Arctic Region: Stocktaking of interests and actions”. The seminar was timely scheduled in respect to the growing interest of the EU towards the Arctic, lastly expressed by the Council Conclusions of December 2009 and the Parliament’s debate on Arctic issues in March this year. Alongside with work package participants, the seminar was gathered by representatives of the EU Commission, the Parliament, and different embassies in the European and Arctic context.


According to the work package roadmap, the seminar focused in this first step primarily on EU institutions and their interests and actions towards the region, before the project, in a further step, will investigate EU Member States interests in the Arctic in more detail. The seminar was introduced by Volker Perthes, Director of the SWP, stressing the fact that not only the EU and its Member States might have different interests towards the regions, but also other actors within and outside of the Arctic which makes this region an issue of global concern. Andreas Maurer, SWP researcher and currently at the European Parliament, in his contribution on identifying European interests draw attention to the divergence of individual EU Member States interests towards the region. While some of them might be interested primarily in maritime transport, others seem to pay more attention to fisheries or other sectors. As regards the EU itself, he stressed the potential for the transport dimension within an Arctic strategy due to the close economic ties between Europe and East Asia. The representative of the EU Commission, Thomas Dux from DG MARE, referred in his presentation to steps that have been taken since the Commission issued its Communication in November 2008 – up to date the most far-reaching and comprehensive EU strategic document on Arctic policies. He pointed to an update of the Commission’s Communication which will be probably launched in June 2011.

In the second part of the seminar, individual case studies on different EU policies and their Arctic implications were presented:

  • The case of energy, Dag Harald Claes, University of Oslo.
  • The case of fisheries, Bettina Rudloff, SWP and work-package leader.
  • The case of climate change, Antje Neumann, SWP researcher.
  • The case of Svalbard, Per Christiansen, University of Tromsö.

All presentations provided a deeper and more detailed insight into existing EU policies and measures in place. They showed a mixed picture on existing interests accross EU Member States depending on the case. As well they showed a partly discrepancy between the articulated EU interest towards the region and present measures in place, and reduced to some extent high expectations in respect to European resource activities towards the Arctic.



A study of coherence in European Foreign Policy

by Ida Holdhus, former Master scholarship holder Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies

 

Ongoing developments in the Arctic have attracted the attention of a variety of actors and states. In addition to the five coastal states; Canada, the U.S., Russia, Denmark and Norway, large external actors, such as China, NATO and the EU have also stated their interest in the region. Whereas a considerable amount of research has been conducted on the relations between the coastal states, little has yet been written about interested external actors. Considering that these stakeholders might attempt to influence the future of the region, there is a need for knowledge about their Arctic ambitions.

The EU is an interested stakeholder that considers Arctic issues important enough to desire a standalone and coherent Arctic policy. Studying the policy process might reveal information about European foreign policy-making, while also providing fundamental knowledge about the EU as an actor in the north. This paper therefore sets out to study challenges and opportunities that the EU is facing in developing a coherent policy. It firstly locates Arctic issues within the European policy process before studying intra and inter institutional relations between the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. Underpinning the study is an eclectic analytical framework consisting of Foreign Policy Analysis, Multi-level Governance and the concept of coherence in foreign policy.

 

Recognizing the inherent tensions between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism in EU policy-making, preliminary findings suggest that firstly, the EU will have to address issues of member state positions. Of particular interest is Denmark (Greenland) which must reconcile its roles, interests and responsibilities as both an Arctic coastal state and an EU member state. Secondly, there are indications suggesting different perceptions and levels of ambition among the institutions. The European Parliament is particularly interesting in this regard. Its role in both internal and foreign policy has increased with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.  Considering that Arctic issues touch on both internal and external EU policies, the role of the Parliament in shaping the EU’s approach towards the Arctic should therefore not be underestimated. Furthermore, there are indications suggesting that the Parliament would like a somewhat more ambitious EU involvement in the Arctic than what is preferred by the Commission and the Council. The two latter institutions have responded with a ‘reality check’, indicating the appropriate level of ambition and the limits of an EU Arctic policy.

 

As a final remark, it is important to remember that the EU Arctic policy is a policy in the making. The final policy will be a product of the various forces present in European policy-making as well as future developments in the Arctic.


 

 

6 July 2011: the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin) organized a colloquium on Arctic Security. 

The purpose of the seminar was to closely examine the question how NATO and the European Union and its member states perceive security issues in the Arctic and how they, consequently, approach them. After a brief introduction of the GeoNor programme, two of its researchers tackled this question in introductory statements.
Helga Haftendorn, associated researcher of the GeoNor programme, concentrated on the security challenges in the Arctic and explained what role Nato could potentially play.  Stefan Steinicke, research assistant in working package 4 “Defining an interest: The European Union and the High North”, focused on EU member states and analysed their perceptions on the security relevance of the Arctic. Based on the presentations a lively debate ensued between researchers of SWP, external researchers and present diplomatic officials, which was moderated by Dr. Claudia Major. Read the cnclusions from the seminar here.

 

 

 

 


Dear Madam or Sir,
The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP),
German Institute for International and Security Affairs, invite you to a seminar on
Norway and Northern Europe in the post-Lisbon European security framework
Date: 26 May
Time: 9.30 – 15.15
Venue: Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, Rue
Montoyer 47, 1000 Brussels
The Euro-Atlantic security structure is still a work in progress. With the Lisbon treaty, the EU
reaffirmed its ambition to be a consistent player on the international scene, including towards
NATO. NATO’s new strategic concept meanwhile underlined the importance of its partnership with
the EU. Together, EU and NATO are facing a number of challenges connected to changing security
threats, and the rise of new actors on the global scene not to mention regional instability in the EU’s
immediate neighbourhood. In addition, both institutions struggle with their member states’
diverging national interests and their reluctance to invest in joint efforts.
As a European country and a founding member of NATO, Norway has an interest in finding
solutions to current and future security problems. As a non-EU member, however, Norway is
excluded from mainstream EU decision-making, and instead relies on association regimes and
formalised dialogues. Current crises, ongoing reform processes and structural problems in the EUNATO
relationship all affect Norway’s role in the Euro-Atlantic framework. At the same time
Norway is actively shaping this framework, for example as a major stakeholder in the development
of NATO’s core functions initiative and in promoting regional cooperation with its Nordic
neighbours.
The aim of the workshop is to discuss Norway’s and Northern Europe’s place in the Euro-Atlantic
security order. Norwegian and German scholars, diplomats and policymakers will raise and discuss
questions such as Norway’s affiliation with the EU/CSDP, the EU-NATO partnership, defence
cooperation in times of budget austerity and the importance of the Arctic in the European
cooperation framework. With its particular interests in stability and security in the Arctic – can
Norway move the geographical focus of the European security framework further north?
Following this seminar, the research programme “Geopolitics in the High North” (GeoNor) is
organising a workshop to discuss the result of a survey on perceptions of the Arctic in EU member
states.


Seminar: 26 May 2011 SWP in Brussels and IFS gathered scholars, diplomats and policymakers to discuss Norway and Northern Europe in the post-Lisbon European security framework.

 

The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP),German Institute for International and Security Affairs, invited experts to a seminar on Norway and Northern Europe in the post-Lisbon European security framework in Brussels. 

The Euro-Atlantic security structure is still a work in progress. With the Lisbon treaty, the EU reaffirmed its ambition to be a consistent player on the international scene, including towardsNATO. NATO’s new strategic concept meanwhile underlined the importance of its partnership withthe EU. Together, EU and NATO are facing a number of challenges connected to changing securitythreats, and the rise of new actors on the global scene not to mention regional instability in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood. In addition, both institutions struggle with their member states’diverging national interests and their reluctance to invest in joint efforts.


As a European country and a founding member of NATO, Norway has an interest in finding solutions to current and future security problems. As a non-EU member, however, Norway isexcluded from mainstream EU decision-making, and instead relies on association regimes andformalised dialogues. Current crises, ongoing reform processes and structural problems in the EU-NATO relationship all affect Norway’s role in the Euro-Atlantic framework. At the same time Norway is actively shaping this framework, for example as a major stakeholder in the development of NATO’s core functions initiative and in promoting regional cooperation with its Nordic neighbours.

The aim of the workshop is to discuss Norway’s and Northern Europe’s place in the Euro-Atlanticsecurity order. Norwegian and German scholars, diplomats and policymakers discussed questions such as Norway’s affiliation with the EU/CSDP, the EU-NATO partnership, defencecooperation in times of budget austerity and the importance of the Arctic in the Europeancooperation framework. With its particular interests in stability and security in the Arctic – can Norway move the geographical focus of the European security framework further north? 

After the seminar, the research programme “Geopolitics in the High North” organised a workshop to discuss the result of a survey on perceptions of the Arctic in EU memberstates.

Seminar report available here

The EU and the Arctic


 


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  The GeoPolitics in the High North research programme is now terminated, and the programme website will be preserved through 2016, but not updated.
Do you have any questions? Please contact us: info@ifs.mil.no
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