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Arctic Yearbook 2012
minister Jan Borkowski). This formula has not been followed up by the Swedish Chairmanship, as
observer deputy ministers were not invited to the DMM in Stockholm in May 2012. The second
important enterprise was the AC observers meeting in Warsaw on 26 March 2010 organized to freely
discuss non-Arctic states concerns with then Danish SAO Chair Ambassador Lars Møller.
meeting was attended by representatives of all the observer states (both permanent and ad-hoc) as
well as the European Commission (Graczyk, 2011: 625-628).
From a Polish foreign policy perspective, the EU Arctic policy concept may be perceived as one of
several levels of Polish involvement in Arctic affairs. The EUs main objectives correspond closely to
Polish priorities in the region, what has opened a window of opportunity for interplay to develop
consistent policies and seek synergy in pursuing common interests (
uszczuk, 2011b: 26).
This may make the Polish voice better heard and provide the country with valuable instruments to
secure its interests by aligning them with or including them in EU Arctic policy. For instance, one of
the conclusions of the EU Parliament’s (EP) resolution from 20 January 2011, emphasizing a need
for full access for international teams of scientists to carry out research in this area, was proposed by
the Polish Member of the EP, Jaros
aw Wa
sa (
uszczuk, 2011b: 22; Grzela, 2011: 203).
Moreover, in November 2011, during Poland’s first ever presidency of the EU Council, Poland
organized a working meeting of senior MFA officials from all of the EU member states (though not
all attended) to discuss EU Arctic policy. It aimed at increasing dynamics of policy development at
the member states’ level through better coordination. The meeting was followed by a briefing for the
Arctic states about the outcomes (Senior Polish MFA Official, personal communication, December
14, 2011). In addition, Poland has officially supported EU efforts to be accorded AC observer status
on different occasions, including at AC meetings. These examples clearly illustrate Poland’s efforts to
play an active role in developing and influencing the EU Arctic policy (Grzela, 2011: 200; Osica,
2010: 8).
To some extent, Poland has a comparative advantage over other AC observer states due to
continuous representation at nearly all the AC meetings
since 2006 by Ambassador Jakub T.
Wolski. This exceptional standing among state observers enriches understanding of developments
and heightens the sense of moods and attitudes among the Arctic actors. Yet another key factor in
increased Polish diplomatic activity in the Arctic is the highly entrepreneurial role played by
Ambassador J. T. Wolski, who succeeded not only in elevating Arctic issues higher in the foreign