Publication of New EU Arctic Policy

EU to align European Green Deal goals with updated strategy for Arctic engagement.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and the European Commission have unveiled the EU’s updated Arctic strategy.

The new Joint Communication on a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic replaces the previous policy issued in 2016. It places the European Green Deal and its set of legislative proposals at the heart of the EU’s Arctic engagement, together with the EU’s new approach for a sustainable blue economy, supported through science, innovation and regional investment.

The EU will further strengthen its Arctic engagement with key targets:

  • Contribute to a peaceful and constructive dialogue and international cooperation, to keep the Arctic safe and stable, by raising Arctic matters in its external contacts, intensifying regional cooperation and monitoring and anticipating emerging security challenges
  • Take strong action to tackle the ecological, social, economic and political impact of climate change and environmental degradation. Make the Arctic more resilient, by environmental legislation, concerted action against black carbon and permafrost thaw, and by pushing for oil, coal and gas to stay in the ground, including in Arctic regions
  • Support a comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable development of the Arctic regions to the benefit of its current inhabitants and future generations, with a particular emphasis on the needs of indigenous peoples, women and the young, and investing in future-orientated jobs, including in the blue economy

The EU will also establish a European Commission office in Greenland, which will raise the profile of Arctic matters in the EU’s external relations. EU funding will also be directed towards driving the green transition in the Arctic, for the benefit of Arctic populations.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said: “The Arctic region is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet. The melting of ice and thawing of permafrost in the Arctic further accelerate climate change and have huge knock-on effects. The EU is committed to make the Arctic safe, stable, sustainable and prosperous. Safe and stable, through enhanced international cooperation; sustainable and prosperous, by ensuring a strong link between the EU’s Arctic engagement and our climate policy, the European Green Deal and its blue economy dimension”.