EU Arctic Forum

Arctic Council Kiruna Ministerial Meeting: Strengthened role of the Arctic Council in a globalized Arctic – China in, the EU on hold

The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt hands over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Leona Aglukkaq, Minister for the Arctic Council, Canada. Photo: Martina Huber/ Swedish Government Offices

On the 15th May 2013, the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council was held in Kiruna where Sweden handed the Chairmanship to Canada until 2015. At a time when the Arctic is changing at a fast pace, this Ministerial meeting echoed and amplified the main challenges faced by the region in terms of the issues featuring on its existing economic and geo-political agenda, as well as new issues raised on the occasion of the Meeting. The Declaration sets out four priorities: improving economic and social conditions, acting on climate change, protecting the Arctic environment and strengthening the Arctic Council.  Read more…

Witnessing the Dawn of a New Era: Arctic Frontiers 2103, the Conclusion of Geopolitics in the High North, and a New Arctic Council Secretariat

Carl Bildt, Espen Barth Eide, Leona Aglukkaq, and Magnús Jóhannesson hold a the press conference following the signing of the host country agreement on the new Secretariat in Tromso. Photo: Arctic Council

The 2013 Arctic Frontiers conference saw the official conclusion of the Geopolitics in the High North project at the same time as it witnessed the birth of the new Arctic Council Secretariat to be based in Tromsø. Arctic Forum Foundation was on the scene for both events. Secretary General of the Arctic Forum Foundation, SteffenWeber, attended the signing ceremony for the Secretariat, and spoke with a number of Arctic Council Permanent Participants, members of the Indigenous community, and various experts on the subject of deeper cooperation between them and Arctic Forum Foundation as the Council surges forward under its new Canadian leadership (officially taken over at the Arctic Council Ministerial in Kiruna). Arctic Forum Foundation’s cooperation with the Geopolitics in the High North project has been a valued one, and we look forward to continuing a fruitful dialogue with the project’s members as they embark on new Arctic geopolitics-related endeavors. Read more…

The Arctic on the Agenda at the Brussels Forum 2013 Conference

On 15th-17th of March, The German Marshall Fund of the United States invited the Arctic Forum Foundation’s Secretary General Steffen Weber to participate in the 8th edition of its prestigious flagship event ‘Brussels Forum’ at the Steigenberger Grand Hotel in Brussels. Over the past years this event has become the premier venue where senior leaders from the world of politics, business and ideas discuss the future of the transatlantic relations in the global context. Brussels Forum 2013 welcomed over 400 participants representing more than 55 different countries. Read more…

Ruling on the EU Seal Products Trade Ban: Commentary on the Ruling of the European Court of Justice – General Court, Case T-526/10, of April 27, 2013

Commentary by Nikolas Sellheim, Arctic Forum Foundation Research Fellow specialized in seals issues and Phd student at the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland.

Illustration photo: Morguefile

In its judgement on the application for annulment of Regulation 737/2010 laying down detailed rules on the implementation of Regulation 1007/2009 European Parliament and the Council on trade in seal products, the General Court reaffirms the legality of the seal products trade ban (basic regulation) and its implementing regulation.  It dismissed the pleas brought forth by individual Inuit hunters from Greenland and Canada, hunting and fur trapping organizations, seal traders and seal processors. Read more…

Engaging NGOs on EU Arctic Policy and the Oil and Gas Industry: 12-13 November, Haparanda, Sweden

John Crump, introducing the panel discussion on the EU and the Arctic Region. Photo: Björn Alfthan

The Arctic NGO Forum of 12-13 November tackled the issue of NGOs in the Arctic context, and placed the development of Arctic resources into the larger picture of what was referred to as the “third industrial revolution” – the green economy – and its need for raw materials. This green revolution will be based, and indeed will depend, on low-carbon technologies potentially fueled by gas and gas carbohydrates from the Arctic. The Arctic Forum Foundation’s Secretary General, Steffen Weber, addressed the Forum in his capacity as an expert on EU policy development and the Northern Dimension energy strategy and who is also credited as the chief advisor on the EU Parliament’s Arctic Report. Bringing his personal experience in impacting the policy process at the EU level to bear, Mr. Weber blended the topics of energy development and the role of NGOs in the energy policy process; showing the possibilities for NGOs when cooperating with one another and/or interacting with third-party actors when dealing with the EU. Read more…


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