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Published: 26 Jan, 2021

Compilation of EU public consultation of its Arctic strategy

NEWS Today the European Commission released the summary of the public consultation on the way forward for the European Union’s Arctic policy.

Text: Anngelica Kristoferqvist

The EU’s current Arctic strategy is from 2016, and from July to November last year, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) launched a public consultation with a view to updating its policy.

140 contributions were received from mainly EU citizens (25%) and academia/ research institutions (21%). The consultation helped to reflect on the new challenges and opportunities in the Arctic region.

In regards to the current strategy, which focuses on three parts, the majority believes that the priorities are still very relevant:

Climate change and safeguarding the Arctic environment (9.7% did not respond)

  • Not relevant at all: 1.5%
  • Somewhat irrelevant: 0.7%
  • Unsure/neutral: 3%
  • Somewhat relevant: 14.2%
  • Still very relevant: 70.9%

Promoting sustainable development in and around the Arctic (9.7% did not respond)

  • Not relevant at all: 2.5%
  • Somewhat irrelevant: 1.5%
  • Unsure/neutral 4.5%
  • Somewhat relevant: 10.4%
  • Still very relevant: 71.6%

Strengthen international cooperation on Arctic issues (10.4% did not respond)

  • Not relevant at all: 2.2%
  • Somewhat irrelevant: 0.7%
  • Unsure/neutral 7.5%
  • Somewhat relevant: 20.1%
  • Still very relevant: 59%

They affirmed the continued relevance of the current Arctic priorities, and that the EU has an important role to play in making the Arctic safe, stable, sustainable and prosperous. The consultation suggests that the EU should take a long-term approach and create a stronger link between climate strategies and sustainable development of the Arctic. Furthermore, the EU should maintain science and research at the heart of policies and actions in the Arctic.

At the end of 2021, the European Commission and the EEAS are expected to present a new Arctic strategy. Read the Summary of the public consultation on the way forward for the European Union’s Arctic policy