The Council to endorse the establishment of an EU Arctic Information Centre

(source: Getty Image) (source: Getty Image) On 12 May 2014, the Council, having welcomed the Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative of June 2012 on Developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region, and having taken note of the important considerations of the European Parliament in its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the EU strategy for the Arctic,  adopted its "conclusions on developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region." Fours years after the previous "Conclusion on Arctic issues", the Council aknowledged that "the Arctic is a region of growing strategic importance" and thus  "agrees that the EU should now further enhance its contribution to Arctic cooperation".

The Council suggested to stranghten EU action in the Arctic by supporting research and channelling knowledge, to address the challenges of environmental and climate changes in the Arctic; acting with responsibility to contribute to ensuring economic development in the Arctic based on sustainable use of resources and environmental expertise; intensifying the EU's constructive engagement with Arctic States, indigenous peoples and other partners to find common solutions to challenges that require an international response.

Within the text, very special relevance has been accorded to the preparatory action to conduct a Strategic Assessment of development in the Arctic co-ordinated by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland with a network of  European research institutions of Arctic expertise. Therefore, after the support received by the European Parliament within its "Resolution on the Eu strategy for the Arctic   (12 March 2014), the establishment of an EU Arctic Information Centre "to promote efficient access to Arctic information, to facilitate dialogues and to communicate on Arctic issues" has been endorsed also by the Council: 

"8. A better understanding of the developments underway in the Arctic is vital to ensure a sustainable future for the region and its peoples. The Council therefore supports an enhanced contribution by the EU to Arctic research, including monitoring and observation efforts, and to the sharing and dissemination of information about the Arctic. The Council looks forward to the results of the preparatory action to conduct a Strategic Assessment of development in the Arctic co-ordinated by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland with a network of European research institutions of Arctic expertise. The Council requests the Commission to consider the options proposed by this project to establish an EU Arctic Information Centre to promote efficient access to Arctic information, to facilitate dialogues and to communicate on Arctic issues. The Council stresses the importance of the alignment of Arctic research programmes in the EU in dialogue with other partners active in Arctic research. The Galway statement on Atlantic and Arctic Ocean research cooperation between the EU, the United States and Canada of 24 May 2013 is a further step in this direction."

Council conclusions on developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region (FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting)

 

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