The Arctic region is going a through a transformation. Climate change continues to melt the polar icecaps, which puts tremendous pressure on the local ecosystem. On the other hand, climate change also opens new sea lines of communication through the region that will increase the speed of shipping between Europe and Asia. The changing relations between the great powers has also put the Arctic back on the international agenda. Russia has been building up its military presence in the region for years. What is new, however, is China’s strong interest towards and growing presence in the region. In other words, we are likely to see an increase in great power competition over Arctic resources and control of shipping routes through the region in the future.
As the importance of the Artic as a stage of international politics continues to grow, the EU also needs to pay more attention to the region and recalibrate its existing Arctic policy. Thus, this event will focus on questions such as: what is the relevance of the Arctic to the EU? Why should non-Arctic countries care about the far North? What does increased great power competition in the region mean for the Union? How should the EU mitigate the impact of climate change in the Arctic?
Registration and light lunch will start as of 12.30.