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Arctic Yearbook 2012
as essential regional forums. Here the Kingdom “will retain the ‘Arctic 5’”, but the AC is
mentioned with the goal of strengthening cooperation within the Council. In terms of
bilateral cooperation the Strategy mentions Canada, the USA, the Nordic countries, Russia,
China, Japan and South Korea.
As a conclusion, based on the four aims and four chapters, the priority areas as well as main
tasks of the Strategy can be interpreted to be, first, to enhance maritime safety and enforce
sovereignty; second, to exploit mineral resources and new economic opportunities and use
renewable energy, maintain a leading role in Arctic research, and promote Arctic cooperation
on human health; third, to pursue knowledge building on climate change, and manage the
Arctic nature based on the best scientific knowledge; and final, to prioritize global
cooperation, and enhance cooperation in the AC and under the ‘Arctic 5’.
All in all, the primary focus and ultimate aim of the Strategy is undoubtedly twofold: on one
hand, to strengthen Greenland’s new position in its status of self-government and (re)define
a new position of the Kingdom of Denmark in the Arctic as a ‘global player’; and on the
other hand, to react and respond to the ongoing environmental, geo-economic and
geopolitical change(s) in, as well as the growing global interest toward, the Arctic region.
Finally, the Strategy has a clear global perspective.
Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region
“Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region” was adopted by the Finnish Cabinet Committee
on the EU and launched in June 2010 (Prime Minister’s Office, 2010).
Finland is one of the eight Arctic states with significant economic, political and security
interests in the Arctic region. Consequently, the Strategy document clearly states (for the first
time) that “[a]s an Arctic country, Finland is a natural actor in the Arctic region” (Prime
Minister’s Office, 2010:7). Finland has also been active in international Northern and Arctic
undertakings like, for example, the initiatives for the Arctic Environmental Protection
Strategy (AEPS) and the EU’s Northern Dimension (Lipponen, 1997), and has long had
some sort of ‘
de facto
’ Northern (dimension) policy (Heininen, 1999: 150-198). Finland has
not, however, had an official Arctic policy of its own before.
After the five coastal states of the Arctic Ocean had adopted their respective Arctic
strategies/state policies and had their first ministerial meeting in May 2008, Finland ‘woke