Florian Vidal

The Arctic Council (AC) is a stabilized and consolidated intergovernmental regional body created in 1996. It has deployed a consistent work on environment issues and produced key documents such as the Agreement on Search and Rescue (SAR) reached in 2011. In the context of the Barents region, the Arctic Council is not the core of the regional dynamics as other regional institutions emerged earlier in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the establishment of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) in 1993, and then the Barents Regional Council (BRC), has underlined the willingness to encourage the neighboring cooperation and coordination, it marks the openness process between the Russian Federation and Western countries, and particularly the Northern European countries. Far from being competing, these organizations according to their nature and functioning are complementing each other in some way. The lack of legal framework in the area for over two decades is substantially moving forward as concrete steps on both environmental issues and social and economic projects are further interlocked than ever. Adding that the Barents region is unique in the Arctic context for its evolving neighboring policy between Nordic countries and the Russian Federation. Despite the tumult of the geopolitical tensions, the Barents institutions followed by the support of the Arctic Council has demonstrated its ability to be resilient and bargain for further development. As a result, the Barents region converts itself as a major core for shaping Arctic governance.

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