The Draft report undertakes to asses the existing legal and political framework in the Arctic as well as to establish a clear set of priorities of the European Union with regard to the Arctic.
The report suggests that the European Commission and the Council and offering close cooperation to the Arctic states and stakeholders. The draft report clearly recognizes that the Arctic is far from being a legal vacuum, but has developed a set of rules which will nevertheless need to be further developed due to changing circumstances.
Main priorities of the EU in the Arctic set out are:
- The road to a sustainable socio-economic development and environmental protection
- The potential of new world transport routes and their vital importance to the EU member's states
- The potential of developing resources like Hydrocarbons, Minerals, fish and biogenetic resources
With regard to a sustainable socio-economic development the Eco-System based management approach as applied in the Barents today is recognised.
The report acknowledges the responsibility of the EU as one of the main contributors to pollution and climate change.
In its conclusion the Report requests the Commission to set up a permanent Inter service on the Arctic and likewise in the future EEAS.
Requests and suggestions are made as to a new circumpolar co-funding and co-programming research programme.
Finally the importance of EU engagement in the further development of Northern Sea Routes is highlighted and suggestions as to the Galileo project are made.
Overall the Draft Report seems to be well perceived, both in the EU and in the Arctic.
Thus there is justified hope that the Report will not only contribute to outline the EU's Arctic policy, but also to contribute to confidence building with the Arctic stakeholders.
The Process will continue with the EU Arctic Forum hosting the Meeting with the European Parliaments Rapporteur to discuss the report on "A Sustainable EU policy for the High North" on 7. December 2010.
The text from the official announcement can be seen here:
Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Chair of the EU-ARCTIC-Forum now has the pleasure to host a meeting with the rapporteur and several shadow rapporteurs before the vote of the Report in the Committee on Foreign Affairs takes place.
The Rapporteur Michael Gahler MEP
To ensure fair involvement of Arctic stakeholders the Chair of the EU-ARCTIC-Forum in the European Parliament Birgit Schnieber-Jastram MEP is inviting you to participate in the debate and in particular welcomes any contributions, which should be made in due time by contacting the Adviser on the Report to Michael Gahler MEP: Mr. Steffen Weber
The EU-ARCTIC-Forum in the European Parliament thus wants to ensure the proper involvement of stakeholders and continues its work to facilitate and bolster a well informed debate on Arctic Issues in Brussels and to interlink debates on Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Resources, World Trade Routes, Security, Sustainable Development etc, that are important in the Arctic context.