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Published: 2020-10-06

The government's strategy for the arctic region

NEWS At the end of September, the government submitted its strategy for the arctic region to the parliament. It contains the government's goals and priorities as well as the political direction for a sustainable development in the Arctic.

Text: Anngelica Kristoferqvist

Approximately 4 million people live in the Arctic, where sparsely populated areas, large unpopulated areas and relatively large cities are typical. Sweden is one of the eight arctic countries together with Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, and the United States.

The swedish government's Strategy for the arctic region is a development of the Strategy for the Arctic Region (2011) and the Strengthening Environmental Policy for the Arctic (2016).

In its strategy the government has defined the swedish arctic to Västerbotten and Norrbotten counties, based on the fact that these two are part of the Baren Council's activities, and divided its strategy into the following six areas:

  • International Cooperation
  • Safety and Stability
  • Climate and Environment
  • Polar Research
  • Sustainable Economic Development and Business Interests
  • Good Living Conditions

The government presents its views on the Arctic today and what they want to focus on. Among other things, the government wants to provide support for the expansion of broadband where commercial actors do not want to establish, and they want to review the living conditions for young people. They also want to support transport systems in a Nordic - Russian co-operation, and cultivate collaboration regarding the Arctic with Germany.

The Arctic is an important part of our immediate area with increasing strategic and economic importance

They highlight the importance of international cooperation and portray a selection of the arctic cooperation that is established already. They want to focus on polar research with expeditions and stations, and attract international investors in sustainable extraction and processing of arctic raw materials.

“Sweden is an arctic country. The Arctic is an important part of our immediate area with increasing strategic and economic significance, "said foreign minister Ann Linde in a press release.

Based on the knowledge and assets available, the government wants to elevate our arctic image and contribute to a peaceful, stable and sustainable development here.

Read the full report on the parliament’s website (in Swedish)