Another step toward an EU Arctic Information Centre

 

(Source: F.Scarpa) (Source: F.Scarpa) The European Arctic Initiatives compendium presents flagship initiatives undertaken by the European Union in Arctic regions, as well as initiatives undertaken by member states and actors operating within states belonging to the European Union (EU). Furthermore, it includes initiatives by European states such as Norway and Iceland, as well as territories such as Greenland, which are highly relevant in the context of the European Arctic, and in many cases strongly linked to the EU, for example, the European Research Area (ERA).  The compendium has been compiled as part of the Preparatory Action for a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of the Arctic.

The compendium’s aim is three-fold: to assist in an Arctic Information Centre feasibility study; to provide a window onto Arctic initiatives that may inform the European Arctic Impact Assessment (EUAIA) which forms part of the Preparatory Action; and to inform the European Commission on European Arctic Initiatives.

The Compendium, co-edited by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, is another crucial step in the process of the establishment a future EU Arctic Information Centre.

The EU Arctic Information Centre, a network of European research institutions of Arctic expertise co-ordinated by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, will serve EU politicians, scientists and general public by fostering knowledge, increasing awareness on Arctic issues, and by facilitating communication within the EU and between the EU and the Arctic.

The Compendium’s release has been timely, given that both the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union have recentlyreaffirmed EU’s interests and commitment in the Arctic, stressed the importance of EU contribution for the Arctic research, and  confirmed  their support for the establishment of an EU Arctic Information Centre.

On 12th March 2014, the EP has adopted in plenary a resolution for an EU strategy for the Arctic, in which was recalled “EU’s commitment to environmental and climate and other policies and its funding, and research activities, as well as economic interests in the Arctic”. The EP also reaffirmed its support for, and urges the Commission to proceed with, the establishment of the EU Arctic Information Centre as a networked undertaking with a permanent office in Rovaniemi, with reference to the Preparatory Action ‘Strategic environmental impact assessment of the development of the Arctic […] with the goal of ensuring efficient access to Arctic information, dialogues at all levels and communication for the purpose of harnessing information and knowledge with a view to sustainability in the Arctic".

Two months later, the Council has adopted its conclusion on “developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region”, in which it was recalled the significant range of activities the EU is already undertaking in the region across the EU policy spectrum, in particular a valuable contribution to Arctic cooperation through research (€20 million/year,2007-13), regional and cross-border investment (€1.14 billion, 2007-13) and cooperation with our partners in the fields of environment, transport, energy, and maritime safety”.

Furthermore the Council has stressed the importance “of the alignment of Arctic research programmes in the EU in dialogue with other partners active in Arctic research”, and thus has called on “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.”

To read the official Press Release please click HERE for the English Version , or

HERE for the Swedish Version

Download the European Arctic Initiative Compendium here.

 

For more information on the Compendium contact Lize-Marié van der Watt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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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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The 5th Arctic Business Forum starts today!

Paula Kankaanpää, Director, Professor, Arctic Centre of University of Lapland, FinlandPaula Kankaanpää, Director, Professor, Arctic Centre of University of Lapland, Finland

The Arctic regions have become of bigger interest and matter in a global scale. Due to vast natural resources and melting of Arctic sea ice, the area is in many ways facing a new challenging era.

Today, 11th of March the Arctic Business Forum started in Rovaniemi, northern Finland.

The meeting will introduce the latest business development and future prospects of the Arctic area, not forgetting the worldwide context.

The conference will concentrate on the business potential of European High North that has recently become an exciting new destination for international investments.

The 5th Arctic Business Forum covers two days of world class presentations by invited speakers, a trade show and a high class social program in the very heart of Lapland Finland.

The meetings will end on Thursday, 13th of March.
To find out more about 5th Arctic Business Forum, click here.

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The European Parliament reaffirms its support to the Arctic Information Centre

 (Source: Getty Image)(Source: Getty Image)The European Parliament (EP) has accepted in the Plenary 12th March 2014 a resolution on the EU streategy for the Arctic. 

The EP "Reiterates its call for a united EU policy on the Arctic, as well as a coherent strategy and a concretised action plan on the EU's engagement on the Arctic, with a focus on socio-economic and environmental issues; believes that this strategic choice is integral in ensuring legitimacy and local support for the EU's Arctic engagement". 

The EP Resolution also  includes a paragraph to reaffirms its support for the establishment of an EU Arctic Centre. The EP "reaffirms its support for, and urges the Commission to proceed with, the establishment of the EU Arctic Information Centre as a networked undertaking with a permanent office in Rovaniemi, with reference to the Preparatory Action 'Strategic environmental impact assessment of the development of the Arctic', as supported by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in their 2012 joint communication and implemented by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland together with a network of European centres of excellence on the Arctic, with the goal of ensuring efficient access to Arctic information, dialogues at all levels and communication for the purpose of harnessing information and knowledge with a view to sustainability in the Arctic". 

"We are pleased to notice that the Parliament express its support in such a concrete way with special mentions related to the network model, a permanent office in Rovaniemi and the work done by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. This will create expectations to the oncoming decisions by the European Commission", says Professor Paula Kankaanpää, director of the Arctic Centre. 

Read more at Arctic Centre

Read the Joint Motion for a Resolution on the EU strategy for the Arctic (2013/2595(RSP))

 

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The 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium 2014: Call for Abstract

Akureyri, countryside (Source: Madgalena Tomasik) Akureyri, countryside (Source: Madgalena Tomasik) Call for proposals for oral presentations at the 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium is open until March 7th 2014. 

Proposals are welcomed from researchers affiliated with Nordic and Chinese universities, research institutes, enterprises, governments, think tanks and organizations. All presentations will focus on Arctic-related issues, within one of the session topics:

  •  Session I: Arctic Governance
  •  Session II: Global Economy - Regional Impacts
  •  Session III: Maritime Cooperation
  •  Session IV: Tourism, Culture and Outreach

The China-Nordic Research Center (CNARC) was established in Shanghai on 10th December 2013 by 10 Member Institutes, four Chinese and six Nordic, which all have capacities to influence and coordinate Arctic research. CNARC’s purpose is to provide a platform for academic cooperation to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of the Arctic and its global impacts, as well as to promote cooperation for sustainable development of the Nordic Arctic and coherent development of China in a global context.
The 2nd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium is an international and multidisciplinary event expected to draw researchers, industry representatives, policy makers and community leaders to present, debate and discuss research findings and issues relating to growing Nordic-Arctic Asian cooperation.


Abstracts (250-400 words)
Deadline for abstract submission: 7th of March, 2014
Acceptance for abstracts: 24th of March, 2014
Please submit abstracts electronically (with a short CV attached) to Dr.
Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Head of Division at RANNIS:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and
Mr. Egill Thor Nielsson, Strategic Studies Division, PRIC:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">A selection committee nominated by CNARC will review and select the proposals.

For further information, please contact the Secretariat of CNARC:
Mr. Egill Thor Nielsson, Strategic Studies Division, PRIC:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +86 131 6241 7903 (PRC) / +354 868 2031 (ICE)
Mr. Deng Beixi, Strategic Studies Division, PRIC: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. /

For further information and registration, please visit the China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium website.

Draft Program here

 

 

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