Thursday

13th May 2021

North Atlantic nations call on EU to focus on Arctic

  • North Atlantic nations wants the EU to pay more attention to the Arctic region (Photo: NN - norden.org)

North Atlantic nations are calling on the European Union to pay more attention to the Arctic by recommending the creation of an Arctic information office and an Arctic delegation from the European Parliament.

The West Nordic Council agreed to a motion last week, calling upon Brussels to focus more closely on the Arctic region both within the EU system and in its interaction with the rest of the world, reports Greenland newspaper Webavisen.gl.

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The council, founded in 1985, is a cooperation forum of the parliaments and governments of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.

The forum believes that the EU should have an information office where information about the Arctic and its situation is collected and taken into consideration when making decisions in Brussels.

EU attention on the Arctic region has increased recently, as Greenland in particular has become a showcase for the effects of global warming, with Commission president Jose Manual Barroso and German chancellor Angela Merkel both having visited the country this summer.

The race to control the Arctic region has also intensified after Russia planted flag four kilometres (2.5 miles) below the North Pole earlier this month. The effects of global warming are thought to be shrinking the polar ice cap and could lead to new shipping lanes linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as new access to oil.

The Nordic Council, which also includes Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the West Nordic council, agreed in June to arrange a conference next year on the "Arctic window" in the EU's Northern Dimension – an EU initiative seeking to address the specific challenges and opportunities arising in the Nordic countries, Baltic states and Russia.

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The race for the Arctic has intensified this month, with Denmark, Russia, Canada and US all setting sail to claim rights at the North Pole which may contain around 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas.

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