Another step toward an EU Arctic Information Centre


(Source: F.Scarpa) (Source: F.Scarpa) The European Arctic Initiatives compendium presents flagship initiatives undertaken by the European Union in Arctic regions, as well as initiatives undertaken by member states and actors operating within states belonging to the European Union (EU). Furthermore, it includes initiatives by European states such as Norway and Iceland, as well as territories such as Greenland, which are highly relevant in the context of the European Arctic, and in many cases strongly linked to the EU, for example, the European Research Area (ERA).  The compendium has been compiled as part of the Preparatory Action for a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of the Arctic.

The compendium’s aim is three-fold: to assist in an Arctic Information Centre feasibility study; to provide a window onto Arctic initiatives that may inform the European Arctic Impact Assessment (EUAIA) which forms part of the Preparatory Action; and to inform the European Commission on European Arctic Initiatives.

The Compendium, co-edited by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, is another crucial step in the process of the establishment a future EU Arctic Information Centre.

The EU Arctic Information Centre, a network of European research institutions of Arctic expertise co-ordinated by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, will serve EU politicians, scientists and general public by fostering knowledge, increasing awareness on Arctic issues, and by facilitating communication within the EU and between the EU and the Arctic.

The Compendium’s release has been timely, given that both the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union have recentlyreaffirmed EU’s interests and commitment in the Arctic, stressed the importance of EU contribution for the Arctic research, and  confirmed  their support for the establishment of an EU Arctic Information Centre.

On 12th March 2014, the EP has adopted in plenary a resolution for an EU strategy for the Arctic, in which was recalled “EU’s commitment to environmental and climate and other policies and its funding, and research activities, as well as economic interests in the Arctic”. The EP also reaffirmed its support for, and urges the Commission to proceed with, the establishment of the EU Arctic Information Centre as a networked undertaking with a permanent office in Rovaniemi, with reference to the Preparatory Action ‘Strategic environmental impact assessment of the development of the Arctic […] with the goal of ensuring efficient access to Arctic information, dialogues at all levels and communication for the purpose of harnessing information and knowledge with a view to sustainability in the Arctic".

Two months later, the Council has adopted its conclusion on “developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region”, in which it was recalled the significant range of activities the EU is already undertaking in the region across the EU policy spectrum, in particular a valuable contribution to Arctic cooperation through research (€20 million/year,2007-13), regional and cross-border investment (€1.14 billion, 2007-13) and cooperation with our partners in the fields of environment, transport, energy, and maritime safety”.

Furthermore the Council has stressed the importance “of the alignment of Arctic research programmes in the EU in dialogue with other partners active in Arctic research”, and thus has called on “the Commission to consider the options proposed by this project to establish an EU Arctic Information Centre to promote efficient access to Arctic information, to facilitate dialogues and to communicate on Arctic issues.”

To read the official Press Release please click HERE for the English Version , or

HERE for the Swedish Version

Download the European Arctic Initiative Compendium here.


For more information on the Compendium contact Lize-Marié van der Watt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Add comment

Security code

twitter facebook

Hosted and Designed by the Arctic Portal