EU to enhance its policy in the Arctic region

03.07.2012 - 14:13

The Commission outlined the way forward for the European Union's engagement in the Arctic on 3 July, saying that the Arctic region plays important role in the Earth's environment.

The Commission based the strategy on the words 'knowledge, responsibility, and engagement'. The actions should help with research, sustainable development, and promote green technologies for sustainable shipping and mining.

"Developments in the Arctic add further urgency to our work to combat global climate change, and are of increasing strategic, economic and environmental importance to the European Union,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

Climate change in the Arctic region advances, with visible changes on a yearly basis. It impacts significantly on its ecosystem and the livelihood of its inhabitants. The retreating sea ice together with technological progress are opening new economic opportunities in fields such as shipping, mining, energy extraction and fishing. But there needs to be a sustainable approach, so that the Arctic environmental standards are met.

“The EU wants to make a positive contribution to the cooperation between the Arctic states and take into account the needs of indigenous and local communities inhabiting Arctic areas, '' Ashton added.

The outline contains measures such as supports the Arctic research by €80 billion in next eight years, launching observation satellites or enhancing dialogue with Canada, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States.