Public Consultation launched on the future approach for the European Union´s Arctic policy
A public consultation on the way forward for the European Union´s Arctic policy was launched on the 20th of July by the European Commission and the European External Action Service, enabling the reflection about it in face of new challenges and opportunities, for example the ambitions of the EU under the European Green Deal.
The public consultation will remain open until the 6th of November 2020. Through the consultation, strengths and deficits of the current policy can be discussed, with the possibility of preparing an updated approach. The public consultation is thought to help in the process of re-examining the role of the EU in Arctic affairs, revising the three priorities of the current Joint Communication on An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic, and the actions thereunder, and identifying possible new policy areas to be developed.
Key objectives and priorities for the EU are fighting climate change and its impacts, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development in the Arctic. The EU´s approach to the Arctic is sustained by science, innovation and strong support for multilateral cooperation.
Josep Borrell, Vice-President and High Representative, comments: “The Arctic is a rapidly evolving frontier in international relations. Climate change is dramatically transforming the region, and increasing its geopolitical importance, with a number of players seeing new strategic and economic opportunities in the High North. We must ensure that the Arctic remains a zone of low tension and peaceful cooperation, where issues are solved through constructive dialogue. The European Union must be fully equipped to manage the new dynamics effectively, in line with our interests and values.”
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries says: “What happens in the Arctic, does not stay in the Arctic. It concerns us all. The EU must be at the forefront with a clear and coherent Arctic policy to tackle the challenges in the years ahead. Drawing on a wide spectrum of expertise and opinions through this consultation, will help us in preparing a strong strategy for the region.”