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?

Summary of event discussions.

Speakers and presentations