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European Arctic Initiatives Compendium released

Press Release   •   May 20, 2014 12:02 GMT

A compendium on European Arctic Initiatives has been released as a part of the feasibility study for a European Arctic Information Centre. The Compendium, co-edited by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, presents European Union flagship initiatives in the Arctic regions.

The European Arctic Initiatives Compendium includes programmes, projects and policy initiatives undertaken by member states and actors operating within states belonging to the European Union (EU), as well as enterprises undertaken by European states such as Norway and Iceland and territories such as Greenland that are highly relevant in the context of the European Arctic. In many cases they are strongly linked to the EU, for example, the European Research Area (ERA).

The compilation of the compendium was led by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat:

“We saw the compendium as a springboard for better understanding the current role and input of the EU in of the Arctic, which is important to the Preparatory Action as a whole,” said Björn Dahlbäck, Director-General of the Secretariat.

“We met with EU officers in Brussels, to enhance our understanding of the sheer diversity of ways in which the EU is involved in the Arctic,” said Lize-Marié van der Watt, project officer at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

She elaborated, “It was also important for us to include initiatives that have a bearing on the European Arctic, even if the initiative did not mention the Arctic as such, for example regional programmes in the northernmost Scandinavian municipalities.”

Paula Kankaanpää, Director of the Arctic Centre and Principal Investigator on the Preparatory Project, added that “the Compendium is a good example where the expertise of all the partners in the network could be used to sketch the broader, European picture.”

Compiling the compendium was a key step in conducting a feasibility study to gauge the effectiveness and sustainability of a network of leading polar research centres and universities specialising in Arctic issues. The network would facilitate information exchange between EU institutions, Arctic stakeholders and the general European public. The feasibility study itself forms part of the Preparatory Action for the Strategic Assessment of the Development of the Arctic, commissioned by the Directorate General for the Environment and led by the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland.

The Compendium aids in the identification of recent and current initiatives on a cross-sectorial basis. As such, the Compendium can be used by a variety of actors within the European Commission, but also by European institutions interested in building collaborations.

The Compendium can be downloaded at www.arcticinfo.eu

Contact

Lize-Marié van der Watt
Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
Phone: +46 8 450 25 14
Mobile: +46 70 785 54 13
E-mail: lizemarie.vanderwatt@polar.se

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a government agency that promotes and co-ordinates Swedish polar research. This includes to follow and plan research and development, as well as to organise and lead research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions.