Themes of the conference

The Conference in Brussels will focus on the following major themes:
  • Sustainable management of living resources in the Arctic
  • Cooperation in education and research - the legacy of IPY
  • The melting ice – consequences

The conference is attended by representatives from the national parliaments of the Arctic states and the European Parliament. Observers also participate from governments and inter-parliamentary organizations as well as from observer states and relevant international organizations.

Monday 13 September

Opening of the Conference & Welcome Speeches

  • Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament (video-recorded message)
  • Ms Diana Wallis, Vice-President of the European Parliament
  • Mr Pat the Cope Gallagher, Chair of Delegation, European Parliament
  • Ms Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
  • Ms Lene Espersen, Chair of the Arctic Council, Danish Foreign Minister
  • Mr Hannes Manninen, Chair of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region

THEME 1: Sustainable management of living resources in the Arctic

  • Mr Karl Falkenberg, Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission
  • Mr Erik Lahnstein, State Secretary to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Special Reports

Tuesday 14 September

THEME 2: Cooperation in education and research - the legacy of IPY

  • Mr Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, DG Research, European Commission
  • Mr Lars Kullerud, President of the University of the Arctic
  • Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen, Senior Scientist, Stefansson Arctic Institute

Wednesday 15 September

THEME 3: The melting ice – consequences

  • Ms Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency
  • Mr Per Sønderstrup, Head of Centre for Maritime Regulation, Danish Maritime Authority
  • Mr Henrik Falck, Project Manager - Eastern Europe, Tschudi Shipping Company, Norway
  • Adoption of the Conference Statement

Special Reports

The first Parliamentary Conference concerning Arctic cooperation was held in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1993. The following Arctic parliamentary conferences have been held in Yellowknife, Canada; Salekhard, Russia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Tromsø, Norway, Nuuk, Greenland, Kiruna, Sweden and Fairbanks, the USA. The next conference will be held in the European Parliament in 2010.

The Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, which is responsible for the work between conferences, started its activities in September 1994.

One of the main priorities of the Standing Committee was originally to support the establishment of the Arctic Council. The new organization, representing the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA) and the European Parliament was founded on 19 September 1996. Since then the Committee has worked actively to promote the work of the Council. The Committee participates in the meetings of the Arctic Council as an observer.