Arctic Yearbook 2012
Canada: “Our North, Our Heritage” is Canada’s Far North, and Canada’s North is said to be
“first and foremost about people” (Government of Canada, 2010: 3).
The Kingdom of Denmark: “The Arctic in recent years becomes a central location on the
world map” (Kingdom of Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011: 9).
Finland: “The Arctic Region can be defined using various criteria, e.g. the Arctic Circle”
(Prime Minister’s Office, 2010: 8).
Iceland: The country is located “on the periphery of the Arctic in the center of the North
Atlantic Ocean” (Utanrikisraduneytid, 2009). And, as mentioned above, it is necessary to
further secure “Iceland’s position as a coastal State within the Arctic region”.
Norway: The High North means “the Barents Sea and the surrounding areas” including
Svalbard, though it is described as a “broad concept both geographically and
politically…broader than Northern Norway and Svalbard since Norway has major interests
to safeguard in a greater region”. This is claimed to be “really a Norwegian perspective”
(Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009: 50).
Sweden: There are several definitions of the Arctic, such as the Arctic Ocean and the five
“surrounded states”, and “the Arctic Circle and the associated eight Arctic states”
(Government Offices of Sweden, 2011: 8-9).
The Russian Federation: The Arctic consists of the five littoral states of the Arctic Ocean
(Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009).
The USA: For the USA the Arctic means “a matrix of issues” (Newsweek, 2009/2010: 26-
As a brief conclusion each of the Arctic states describes and defines itself as an
An interesting difference here is that those Arctic states, who had earlier defined themselves
as Arctic countries, would like now, in the early-21
century, to be even more so. For
example, “a global leader in Arctic science” as Canada puts it; “a global player in the Arctic”,
as the Kingdom of Denmark aims; “as a coastal State within the Arctic region” as Iceland
would like; “a leading nation” as regards environmental policy, as Norway states; or to