The EU’s current Arctic policy, set out in a Joint Communication from 2016, is based on three pillars: fighting climate change and protecting the environment, promoting sustainable development and strengthening international cooperation.
In July 2020, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) launched a public consultation with a view to updating its policy. Closed on 10 November 2020, the consultation helped to reflect more broadly on the new challenges and opportunities in the Arctic region, in light of the EU’s objectives under the European Green Deal and the EU’s International Ocean Governance agenda.
The consultation process involved a wide range of Arctic stakeholders, public and private alike, governmental and non-governmental, regional and local.
The overwhelming majority of responses to the consultation confirmed the continued relevance of the current Arctic priorities. What is clear from the consultation is that the EU has an important role to play in making the Arctic safe, stable, sustainable and prosperous, including through enhanced international cooperation. According to contributors the EU should
Against this background, the European Commission and the EEAS will re-examine the role of the EU in Arctic affairs and update the 2016 Joint Communication on an integrated European Union policy for the Arctic by the end of 2021.