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Exploring Common Solutions - Finnish Chairmanship - Arctic Council

EU policy for the Arctic

The European Union’s interest in the Arctic has increased. The EU is an important global actor in the fight against climate change, and the Arctic region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The EU supports international cooperation in the Arctic region and conducts a comprehensive Arctic policy. The three EU Member States, Finland, Sweden and Denmark are also Members of the Arctic Council.

Familyphoto_oulu_Kuva_Juha Sarkkinen
One example of the European Union’s increased interest in the Arctic is the Arctic Stakeholder Forum, which gathered for its first session in Oulu in June 2017.Photo: Juha Sarkkinen

The EU’s third Arctic Communication emphasises that it is important to take into account the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the goals set in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The European Union is prepared to provide funding for adaptation to climate change in the Arctic region. The Communication proposes a large number of measures that the EU intends to take in order to promote its Arctic policy.

The European Global Strategy recognises the northern areas’ increasingly integral role in all EU Member States’ policies. In addition, the EU wants to minimise tensions in the Arctic region and strengthen stable political and security-related cooperation.

The EU has an observer status in the Arctic Council

In practice, it is currently an observer with full right of participation in the Working Groups’ activities, but it hopes that the observer status be formalised as soon as possible.

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