JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION ON THE EU STRATEGY FOR THE ARCTIC (2013/2595(RSP))
On the 12th March 2014, the European Parliament has adopted in the Plenary a resolution on the EU strategy for the Arctic. The EP, after having welcomed the joint communication of the Commission and of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 26 June 2012 “ as an important building block in ensuring the continuous development of the EU’s Arctic policy”; reiterated “its call for a united EU policy on the Arctic, as well as a coherent strategy and a concretised action plan on the EU's engagement on the Arctic, with a focus on socio-economic and environmental issues; believes that this strategic choice is integral in ensuring legitimacy and local support for the EU's Arctic engagement”
The 2014 resolution also took note of the Kiruna Declaration of the Arctic Council in May 2013, when EU‘s application for permanent observersip was received positively but a final decision has been deffered until after “the concerns of Council members” are resolved. Therefore, the EP has urged „the Commission to follow up on the outstanding seal products ban issue with Canada and to duly inform the European Parliament regarding that process; regrets the effects which the EUregulation relating to the ban on seal products has produced for sections of the population,and in particular for indigenous culture and livelihood“.
The EP took up the issue of EU relations with Iceland and Greenland. As regard Iceland, the EP noted the „Government of Iceland’s initiative to end the EU membership negotiations“, and called on the Commission and the EEAS to maintain good relations and develop closercooperation with Iceland in fields of common interest, while making full use of existing instruments and encouraging Arctic cooperation between EU-based and Icelandic actors and ensuring that European interests do not suffer in this strategically important region. Regarding EU‘s “ strong relation with Greenland and and the geostrategic importance of that territory“ the EP asked the Commission and the EEAS to explore how the EU and EU-based actors from science,technology and business can contribute to and assist in the sustainable development of Greenland so that both environmental concerns and the need for economic development are taken into account.