A holistic EU Arctic strategy

The Parliament Magazine published an article titled, “A holistic EU Arctic strategy”. The article reads in part as follows:

This year marks 20 years of EU engagement with the Arctic region.

The EU’s latest Arctic Joint Communication, published in 2016, strikes a delicate balance between the EU’s three priorities in dealing with the Arctic: responding to climate change and safeguarding the environment; promoting sustainable development in and around the region as well as international cooperation.

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The Arctic: A microcosm of climate change

The Parliament Magazine published an article titled, “The Arctic: A microcosm of climate change”. The article reads in part as follows:

If there is one place in the world where climate change is plainly visible, it’s the Arctic. The region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

The impacts of these changes are felt around the world: rising sea levels, changes in climate and precipitation patterns, increasingly severe weather events, and loss of fish stocks, birds and marine mammals.

Our lives depend on the well-being of the Arctic, but the region’s importance for the European Union is also strategic. Our security and prosperity are at stake.

Arctic Spirit

The Parliament Magazine published an article titled, “Arctic Spirit”. The article reads in part as follows:

As the first EU Ambassador at Large for the Arctic, raising awareness about the EU’s role in the region is a key priority for Marie-Anne Coninsx.

“My primary role is to bring visibility to the EU’s Arctic Policy. The true nature of the Arctic is not well-understood; for most people their first thought would be of a polar bear on the ice pack. In reality, there are many Arctics, all different”.

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The Increasing Security Focus in China’s Arctic Policy

The Arctic Institute published an article titled, “The Increasing Security Focus in China’s Arctic Policy”. The article reads in part as follows:

Two decades ago, China’s political leadership determined that developing the ability to access and exploit the Arctic is a diplomatic, economic, and security imperative. Beijing’s interest in the Arctic has increased quickly in the last decade, with the polar regions included in China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan (FYP) in 2011, the publication of China’s Arctic Policy in 2018, and the incorporation of the Polar Silk Road as part of President Xi Jinping’s signature One Belt, One Road (OBOR) program.1) Commercial development appears to be China’s primary goal at this stage, and China has been steadily increasing its diplomatic and scientific efforts to support this aspiration in the Arctic since 2006. This article contends that China has, since at least 2014, been building its capacity to defend its interests in the Arctic region through military means.

Anxiety, angst and anger in the High Arctic

Down To Earth published an article titled, “Anxiety, angst and anger in the High Arctic”. The article reads in part as follows:

Over the years, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) has become an important ‘strategic corridor’ for connecting the once-isolated Arctic region with the centre of global geopolitics, namely, Asia and Europe. However the significance of the NSR also depends partly on climatic conditions which facilitate the melting of ice along with the use of ice breakers.

Along with strategic routes, all the littoral states (of the Arctic Ocean) are competing with each other for huge deposits of natural resources, which, in turn, accentuates the geopolitical vulnerability of this region.

Statement by the Prime Minister on Icelandic National Day

PR Newswire published an article titled, “Statement by the Prime Minister on Icelandic National Day”. The article reads in part as follows:

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Icelandic National Day:

“Today, we join Icelandic communities in Canada and around the world to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the independent Republic of Iceland.

Canada and Iceland share a lasting bond as friends and allies, built on shared democratic values, mutual respect, defence and security cooperation, and close people-to-people ties. Nearly 200,000 Canadians trace their heritage to Iceland, and their important contributions help make Canada the vibrant and open country it is today.

New U.S. Arctic strategy omits climate change, takes aim at China, Russia

AXIOS published an article titled, “New U.S. Arctic strategy omits climate change, takes aim at China, Russia”. The article reads in part as follows:

The Defense Department quietly released a new Arctic strategy on Thursday that omits any mention of climate change in the region and casts the Far North as increasingly slipping into a zone of great power competition.

Why it matters: The Arctic has long been a region where the eight Arctic nations have collaborated on governance challenges as well as environmental and scientific concerns. However, with a buildup in Russia’s military presence in the region, and China’s increasingly assertive role as a “near-Arctic” nation, the U.S. is taking a more aggressive posture.

Russians ‘Welcome Climate Change’ for Arctic Dominance Plans, Intel Committee Warned

Homeland Security Today published an article titled, “Russians ‘Welcome Climate Change’ for Arctic Dominance Plans, Intel Committee Warned”. The article reads in part as follows:

The House Intelligence Committee heard last week that “in some respects” the Russians “welcome climate change” because of how melting ice serves their national security and maritime dominance priorities.

“The Arctic has been a closed-off arena from a defense perspective for years,” testified Office of Naval Intelligence Russia and Eurasia Senior Naval Intelligence Manager Jeffrey Ringhausen. “And now it appears that the ice there is melting, and that’s going to open up, from a Russian perspective, a threat vector to them… norms in the Arctic are now a question of governance, and sort of establishing that governance opens the potentiality for conflict.”

Russian Strategic Intentions in the Arctic

The Arctic Institute published an article titled, “Russian Strategic Intentions in the Arctic”. The article reads in part as follows:

Pavel Devyatkin was invited by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and Joint Chiefs of Staff to contribute to a Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) white paper called “Russian Strategic Intentions“. The publication is part of a series entitled The Future of Global Competition and Conflict. The white paper provides wide-ranging assessments of Russia’s global interests and objectives.

The Arctic is the next geopolitical hot spot that the US wants to freeze China out of

South China Morning Post published an article titled, “The Arctic is the next geopolitical hot spot that the US wants to freeze China out of”. The article reads in part as follows:

If Donald Trump is right, and global warming is a “hoax”, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit earlier this month to Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland, for a meeting of the eight-member Arctic Council, must have had a surreal air.

This traditional home of reindeer, the indigenous Sami people and Santa Claus, is getting into the habit of celebrating “black Christmas” as rain begins to replace snow during the winter months. The government is thinking of moving the Santa Claus village further north to make sure the 300,000 visitors during winter have a white Christmas.