EU Arctic Policy to address globally emerging interests in the region – a view of civil society

The European Commission adopted a Communication on "The EU and the Arctic Region" in 2008 and has published a comprehensive review on the progress of the EU policy in the region lately. The European Parliament has adopted a report. The issue is going to be a subject for debate among the EU institutions and the Member States in the nearest future.

These documents and actions stemming from them express EU's interests and priorities in the region which wins emerging interest among the global actors, in such areas as energy, transport, with serious consequences for the environment and the inhabitants.

The opinion will look at the issues related to economic, social, environmental and human dimensions of the growing use of the Arctic wealth, potential role of the civil society in voicing the interests of the groups involved as well as in supporting the position of the EU in the dialogue with international partners concerned.

A public hearing during the 2nd meeting of the study group will be organised, together with consultations of the rapporteur and his expert, with the EU institutions, social partners and interest groups involved.

Both the members of the EEA Consultative Committee and of the EU–Iceland Joint Consultative Committee expressed their interest in including the Arctic Policy of the European Union in the debate during their meetings in 2013. The opinion would be a valuable input to the debates and documents adopted by these two bodies adding up to the necessary outreach of the document and creating the opportunity to discuss the EESC views with the closest partners and the future EU members.