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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
An interesting development is that a second round of adaptations and launches of national
strategies has already started: first with the 2009 version of the Norwegian High North
Strategy; second, with the 2011 ‘final’ strategy of the Kingdom of Denmark; and finally, even
the 2012 European Union Commission’s Communication on the Arctic. We might now
expect other updated strategies of the Arctic states already in the near future. It will also be
interesting to see who will be the first non-Arctic state to adopt a public Arctic strategy,
policy or agenda. Here the EU Commission’s Communications, both in 2008 and 2012 are
not quite enough, since the EU is a supranational entity and three of the Arctic states are
among its members. However it does indicate the growing interest of the Union toward the
Arctic region and potential for a more formulated Arctic policy.
This paper is only concerned with the Arctic states and their strategies, and does not
include the European Union’s policies and activities on Arctic policies despite the fact
that the EU Commission has launched its Communication on the Arctic in 2008 and
up-dated it in 2012 (see Commission of the European Communities, 2008 and 2012;
also Heininen, 2011).
See also the study on the five littoral states of the Arctic Ocean by Brosnan et al. (2011),
which uses the following six themes: sovereignty, scientific research, resource
development, shipping, environmental concerns, and governance.
Alekseyev, V. (2001). The Russian North at the Crossroads of Two Epochs. In T.S.
Björnsson, J.H.
Ingimundarson, & L. Olafsdottir (Eds.),
North Meets North:
Proceedings of the First Northern Research Forum
(87-89), Stefansson Arctic Institute and
University of Akureyri.
Althingi. (2011).
A Parliamentary Resolution on Iceland’s Arctic Policy
(Approved by Althingi at
the 139
legislative session March 28 2011). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland.
Bildt, C. (2009, May).
Speech by Foreign Minister Carl Bildt at the Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic
Council in Nuuk
. Retrieved (10.5.12) from, http://www.arctic-
Borlase H. (2010.)
Consistencies and Inconsistencies in the National Strategies of the Arctic
Littoral States
(Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Akureyri, Iceland.
Brosnan, G., Leschine, T.M., & Miles, E.L. (2011). Cooperation or Conflict in a
Changing Arctic?.
Ocean Development & International Law,
42(1-2). 173-210.