EU Arctic Policy: Science as catalyst for international cooperation
Joint Arctic Circle Session EU-PolarNet, European Polar Board and INTERACT
Climate change, globalisation and geopolitical dynamics challenge the Arctic and its inhabitants. The consequences of these forces increasingly exceed local and national mitigation and adaptation capacities and reach far beyond the high latitudes. A sustainable and prosperous future for the Arctic thus requires regional and international actors to jointly recognise issues and then develop solutions to address these together.
Recognising this, the European Commission and the High Representative have therefore defined International Cooperation on Arctic Issues as a priority area in the integrated European Union policy for the Arctic. Within this area they have assigned a key role to science as a catalyst to support a common understanding, jointly agreed solutions and peaceful cooperation.
Transnational access to research infrastructures and open data resources are seen as important steps towards both an improved scientific cooperation and enhanced political and economic links with key countries in the region. Furthermore the European Commission stated its ambition to develop international scientific cooperation on an international level, through networks such as the Transatlantic Ocean (and Arctic) Research Alliance, and through bilateral cooperation with key Arctic players including Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.
This breakout session aimed at fostering active discussions on how to further improve international cooperation in Arctic science. For this, the session kicked-off with five brief input presentations and subsequently focus on two discussion questions:
- What are key areas in which large global scale scientific collaboration can contribute to a sustainable development of the Arctic?
- How can we make sure that cooperation efforts, such as projects giving transnational access to infrastructures, are (financially) sustained?
Speakers and presentations
- Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission: Opening address via video message
- Dr Andrea Tilche, Head of Unit Climate Action and Earth Observation, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission: Convener
- Dr Martin Jeffries, Assistant Director for Polar Sciences & Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, White Office of Science and Technology Policy: Facilitating Arctic Science Cooperation via the Canada-EU-USA Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
- Dr Hyoung Chul Shin, Head of Department for International Cooperation, Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI): Arctic research cooperation; role of observer states and the growing contribution
- Prof Alexander Klepikov, Head of Department for Antarctic Ocean and Climate Studies, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI, Russia): The Russian perspective on key areas of international cooperation in Arctic research
- Dr Margareta Johansson, Coordinator INTERACT: From North Atlantic Cooperation to true International Cooperation - the INTERACT story
- Dr Verónica Willmott, Project Manager ARICE (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany): ARICE: Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium. An international cooperation strategy for meeting the needs for marine-based research in the Arctic.