EU Arctic Forum gathered high-level representatives from the EU and Arctic region to discuss recent developments and challenges in the far north.
EU Arctic Forum and Indigenous people’s dialogue took place in Nuuk 8-9th February 2023. The international high-level event was organized by the European Commission and the Government of Greenland and gathered a broad range of Arctic stakeholders together into discussion. Present were high-level representatives of the European Commission and EU External Action Service, representatives of regional governments, research, civil society, industry and indigenous and local communities.
The conference assessed recent developments in the Arctic and provided a platform for discussing challenges ahead. Both parts of the conference included keynote addresses and panel discussions with focus on international cooperation, sustainable and just economic development in the Arctic, climate change impacts, interdisciplinary research and Arctic knowledge. Also attracting talent and young people in the Arctic was stressed as a key issue.
Development in the name of cooperation
The Chair for the NSPA Coordination Group and the Director of East and North Finland EU Office, Kari Aalto, participated in a panel discussion titled as “Delivering results under the EU Arctic Policy”. Kari addressed that
“Cohesion policy and structural funds play an important role in the development of the EU Arctic regions. This can enable the regions to increase knowledge and competence thus allowing the NSPA region to bring added value to the whole of EU. Furthermore, the changed geopolitical situation highlights the need to develop NSPA regions. In this regard, security of maintenance and self-sufficiency on energy and raw materials need a special attention as well as the connectivity and transport infrastructure of the region.”
In the session “Sustainable and inclusive economic development to the benefit of the Arctic”, Nils-Olov Lindfors, the Councillor for Regional development of Region Norrbotten, stressed that
“The whole world is now looking north to the European Arctic, as we have tremendous opportunities to lead the green transition. But at the same time a lot of hard work and improved cooperation on all levels of government will be needed. The local communities and the industry must work closely together to find innovative solutions and resolve issues on land use and environment protection. “
In addition, the County Governor of Lapland Mika Riipi, highlighted the importance of Arctic regions’ point of view in decision making on the EU-level.
Indeed, the conference reminded that cooperation in the Arctic enables the unique conditions and challenges to be firmly addressed while making sure the development in the region occurs under multilevel dialogue.