The US and a peaceful Arctic future

By Ross A. Virginia, James F. Collins, Michael Sfraga, and Kenneth S. Yalowitz

The Hill

The United States is signaling welcome interest in the Arctic. This heightened attention to the region is reflected in the long-awaited appointment of a Special Representative to the Arctic. And as the U. S. prepares to take on the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, the appointment of an experienced, capable leader, Admiral Robert Papp, former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, has real potential to focus and unite U.S. Arctic policy and give the Arctic Council the leadership it will need to preserve the Arctic as a zone of international cooperation and peace during a period of rising global unrest.

Why the EU is Ready for the Arctic Council

The EU’s application for permanent observer status in the Arctic Council has failed so far. Bilateral policy differences with individual member states, as well as the EU’s vision for regional governance, generated unease over its motives. However, recent developments have shown Brussels’ position has shifted, and it is now in the interest of the Arctic Council to admit the EU as an observer. Through this role, the EU would better serve as a link between Arctic and European policymaking processes.
By Edward Mortimer

Atlantic Community

The Make-Or-Break Year For the EU In the Arctic

By Mika Mered and Victor Chauvet

The Diplomatic Courier

Although the Arctic remains an unfamiliar area—almost a terra incognita to many southerners—it is on track to come to the forefront of world politics. In this context, it seems that, while everyone in Brussels is perfused with news streams from the Middle East, Africa, or Ukraine, the EU is starting to lag behind other non-Arctic competitors such as China, South Korea, or Japan, in the race for Arctic influence; the one geographical area that may truly rule Northern hemisphere geostrategic dynamics in the 21st century.

Canada, EU make deal on security, energy and Arctic issues

By Kim Mackrael

The Globe and Mail

Canada and the European Union have completed negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement on global issues including security, energy and the Arctic.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, announced the agreement at a press conference in Ottawa on Monday. Mr. Baird said the agreement is intended to outline a range of values that Canada and the EU share, including international peace and security, combatting terrorism and human rights.

New House of Lords Committee to Consider How Recent Changes in the Arctic Affect the UK

Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London has been appointed the specialist advisor to House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic.

The committee is to consider ‘recent and expected changes in the Arctic and their implications for the UK and its international relations’. Chaired by Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat), it will hear evidence between July 2014 and February 2015. A report is expected to be published in March 2015.

The specialist advisor’s role is to assist the committee with its inquiry, including advising on the structure of the committee’s enquiries, the witnesses to interview, the interpretation of oral and written evidence and to assist in the writing up of the Committee’s report including its conclusions and recommendations.