Peter Sköld, director at the Arctic Center at Umeå University, traveled to Stockholm at the beginning of March to attend to a symposia which introduced Sweden's new Arctic ambassador.
Text: Peter Sköld
From the left: Andreas Norlén, speaker of the house, Mattias Karlsson (M), chair of the Arctic delegation of the house, Jón Erlingur Jónasson, the bilateral and regional questions of the Foreign Office of Iceland, Louise Calais, Arctic Ambassador of Sweden, Emilia Töyrä (S), vice chair of the Arctic delegation of the house.
Image Peter Sköld
Björn Lyrvall, who has been the Swedish Arctic Ambassador since 2017, was in November 2019 appointed director-general of the Defense Radio Agency. At the symposium The Arctic cooperation and challenges of the region that was arranged in Stockholm by the Arctic Delegation of the Swedish Parliament on 3 March his successor Louise Calais was presented. She was previously head of the European Correspondence Unit at the Foreign Ministry of Sweden, responsible for the coordination of foreign and security policies of the European Union.
The President of the Swedish Parliament Andreas Norlén opened the meeting, followed by Jón Erlingur Jónasson at the Foreign Ministry of Iceland. He presented the Icelandic chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2019-2021, with a focus on the marine environment, climate change, green energy, living-condition of Arctic peoples and a stronger Arctic Council. Louise Callais presented the Swedish Arctic policy emphasizing that the Swedish government has the climate related issues in focus. Thawing ice, gas, oil and minerals, fishing and sea routes, the ecosystem, sustainability and peace were stressed as central issues. Geopolitical security is an evolving area where Sweden is concerned with multi-lateral cooperation and international law. Louise Calais pointed to the importance of research, not least in international collaboration, and settled that Arctic politics need to be fact-based. She noted that Norrbotten and Västerbotten constitute the Arctic region of Sweden, and concluded that a close Nordic cooperation and an increased engagement of the European Union are of great importance.