The EU is inextricably linked to the Arctic region by a unique combination of history, geography, economics and scientific achievements (COM (2008) 763 final). Three Arctic countries are EU Member States (Denmark, Sweden and Finland) and the EU maintains close relations with Iceland and Norway through the European Economic Area. Canada, Russia and the United States are also strategic partners of the EU. The European Commission has set out the EU's interests in the Arctic and has proposed action around three main policy objectives: 1) Protecting and preserving the Arctic in unison with its population; 2) Promoting sustainable use of resources; 3) Contributing to enhanced Arctic multilateral governance (COM (2008) 763 final). However, the best way to ensure that the EU's interests are protected and that the policies it pursues are adopted has not been mapped out. While the EU is willing to pursue its involvement within the relevant international framework (e.g., the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Convention on Biological Diversity) on Arctic issues such as climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem-based management, persistent organic pollutants, marine protected areas, energy, fisheries, tourism, international navigation and indigenous people (JOIN (2012) 19 final), choices must be made as to which policy avenue to pursue. How these choices are to be made and which avenues are the best to pursue its policy objectives are some of the many questions which have yet to be fully addressed by scholars.
Call for abstracts
This conference will bring together academics and practitioners from relevant disciplines such as international law, international relations, political science and marine biology, NGOs, representatives from EU institutions and international organizations to discuss the EU's potential contribution to enhance Arctic governance. A roadmap for increasing the effectiveness of the EU's action in the Arctic will be drawn at the end of the conference. This conference is timely as the Council of the European Union recently (Council conclusions on developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region, 24 May 2014) requested the European Commission and the High Representative to present proposals for the further development of an integrated and coherent Arctic Policy by December 2015.
For more detailed information, visit: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/law/events/details/call-for-papers--the-european-union-and-the-arctic-2015-eu-arctic-conference.php