Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council


par­tic­i­pants in the Arc­tic Arc­tic Coun­cil:
dark blue = mem­bers; light blue = observers

Last wednes­day the Arc­tic Coun­cil met in Kiruna, Swe­den on a min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing. The most impor­tant deci­sion made was to include six new nations as per­ma­nent Observ­er States into the Arc­tic Coun­cil, name­ly: Chi­na, India, Italy, Japan, the Repub­lic of Korea and Sin­ga­pore as new . The deci­sion on the EU, try­ing to become a per­ma­nent observ­er since 2009, was adjourned until “the Coun­cil min­is­ters are agreed by con­sen­sus”, but “the EU may observe Coun­cil pro­ceed­ings until such time”.

The EU first men­tions its ambi­tion for becom­ing a per­ma­nent observ­er in the Arc­tic Coun­cil in the first ever paper of the Euro­pean Union on Arc­tic mat­ters in 2008. But so far the appli­ca­tion was reject­ed. This time main­ly Cana­da object­ed to an EU ban on import­ed seal prod­ucts. In a short press release EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton and EU Com­mis­sion­er Maria Damana­ki wel­comed the deci­sion of the Arc­tic Coun­cil and stat­ed that “[f]urther to pre­vi­ous exchanges with the Cana­di­an author­i­ties the EU will now work expe­di­tious­ly with them to address the out­stand­ing issue of their con­cern.”

For the next two years Cana­da will chair the Arc­tic Coun­cil, the next min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing will take place in 2015.

Here you can read the “KIRUNA DECLARATION On the occa­sion of the Eighth Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing of the Arc­tic Coun­cil”


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