15 November 2019
  • EU
  • arctic
  • geopolitics

The Arctic Elephant: Europe & Geopolitics of the High North

This article was first published by the Clingendael Institute on November 14, 2019. 

Authors: Louise van Schaik & Ties Dams.

Why Europe must address the geopolitics of the High North?

This policy brief argues that there is an urgent need for the EU and European countries to upgrade the Arctic diplomatic dialogue to address security and geopolitical concerns. Out of fear that power rivalry may come to hinder climate change cooperation, European countries seem to be blind to the fact that geostrategic interests have already eclipsed other concerns in the region. The time has come for the EU and its close ally Norway to step up and address the elephant in the Arctic: geopolitics. This needs to be taken on board in the revised EU strategy for the Arctic, which should call for an Arctic council on security and geopolitics. If the new European Commission truly wants to be a geopolitical one, the Arctic is one of the chessboards that can no longer be treated primarily as an area for scientific cooperation on climate change.

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Photocredit: Clingendael Institute.