A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic

On 13 October 2021 the High Representative and the Commission put forward their approach for a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic.

The EU will further strengthen its Arctic engagement with key targets:

  • contribute to a peaceful and constructive dialogue and international cooperation, to keep the Arctic safe and stable, by raising Arctic matters in its external contacts, intensifying regional cooperation and monitoring and anticipating emerging security challenges;
  • take strong action to tackle the ecological, social, economic and political impact of climate change and environmental degradation. Make the Arctic more resilient, by environmental legislation, concerted action against black carbon and permafrost thaw, and by pushing for oil, coal and gas to stay in the ground, including in Arctic regions;
  • support a comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable development of the Arctic regions to the benefit of its current inhabitants and future generations, with a particular emphasis on the needs of indigenous peoples, women and the young, and investing in future-orientated jobs, including in the blue economy.

The EU has a fundamental interest in supporting multilateral cooperation in the Arctic. Based on its values and principles, the EU will cooperate with all key partners and stakeholders in the Arctic and beyond, taking account of the shared responsibility to work for a safe, sustainable, prosperous and peaceful region. This is in the shared interest of the entire world.

This Communication will replace the Joint Communication 'An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic', adopted on 27 April 2016. The EU's Arctic policy has been updated regularly since it was first outlined in 2008. In December 2019 Member States invited by way of Council conclusions the Commission and the High Representative to continue to implement the EU Arctic Policy, and to initiate a process in order to update the EU Arctic Policy.