Press Release on the Summary of the Workshop
“The EU Arctic Policy – A North Atlantic Regional Dimension”
17 June 2015, Aalborg, Denmark
Arctic Consensus along with Greenland Business Association, Arctic Cluster of Raw Materials and the European Commission have successfully organised the workshop “the EU Arctic Policy – A North Atlantic Regional Dimension” on the 17th of June in Aalborg, Denmark.
The workshop focused on the future development of the EU Arctic Policy and two key aspects related to this; the impact of the EU Arctic Policy and strategy on Arctic regions, Greenland and North Denmark as well as ensuring constructive input to the strategy from EU’s regional partners in Greenland and North Denmark.
In bringing together research communities, businesses and policymakers, the workshop facilitated knowledge sharing and dialogue on EU-Arctic matters and highlighted the potential of the strong Arctic Connection between North Denmark and Greenland.
EU listens to its Arctic and Regional Partners
In the session “EU and the Arctic” Mr. Ramon van Barneveld, policy officer from the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries under the European Commission established that EU’s approach to the creation of the coming EU Arctic strategy would be one of dialogue and consultation. The EU Arctic strategy will furthermore focus on enhancing regional cooperation, among others through improved coordination between established regional development programmes.
During a roundtable discussion, the workshop participants highlighted the need for establishing constructive communication and open dialogue with the regional stakeholders of the Arctic to ensure that regional perspectives on new initiatives are heard and that information on policies and relevant steps taken by the EU reach communities living in the Arctic.
Ensuring Impact and Implementation of Arctic Research
The workshop participants suggested that incorporating a holistic and impact oriented approach towards Arctic research could be the key to ensuring that the findings and results of the research sector reaches Arctic societies and businesses.
In the sessions of the workshop, participants underlined the potential of focussing on the implementation of research, among others through closer cooperation between sectors. As an example of this, North Denmark has successfully established a close cooperation between the three key sectors of society; the public authorities, the local businesses an industries and academia. Workshop participants recommended that the EU, and other actors involved in arctic research, promote an impact oriented Arctic research and closer collaboration between sectors, particularly at regional level.
Supporting Knowledge Sharing
During a roundtable discussion, workshop participants stressed the need to support local and regional economic and societal development through knowledge sharing.
The workshop participants suggested that EU take an active part in supporting knowledge sharing in the Arctic as well as facilitating access to research data and findings. In this way, the EU can support the identification of sustainable solutions relevant to the development of Arctic communities and regional growth.
North Denmark is EU’s Arctic Connection
The workshop participants highlighted the potential of utilizing the Arctic Connection to generate growth and development within education, business and culture in both North Denmark and Greenland.
During the sessions, workshop participants highlighted North Denmark’s strong ties to Greenland that are based on more than 40 years of working together through the Greenlandic Harbour. These ties have laid the foundation for a strong partnership in other areas such as culture and education, making North Denmark a natural gateway from the EU to Greenland and the Arctic.
Participants emphasized the Arctic Connection as one of Aalborg’s and North Denmark’s strong points which in this context embodies both the logistical connections, such as through the Jutland Corridor and the Port of Aalborg, but also reflects Aalborg’s ambition to develop its specialized Arctic competencies further. Participants pointed to four potential new Arctic Clusters; an Arctic Tourism Cluster, an Arctic Maritime Cluster, an Arctic Mining Services Cluster and an Arctic Cluster of Welfare Technology.
Understanding Greenland and the Arctic
Participants stressed the importance of improving the understanding of local and Arctic context. EU policies have wide-ranging affects on the Arctic. Participants therefore recommended that the EU works towards an enhanced understanding of local and regional context in the Arctic to help mitigate negative impacts of EU policies on Arctic communities and enhance positive impacts.
List of Speakers in alphabetical order
- Anne Merrild Hansen, University of Aalborg and University of Greenland
- Flemming Møller Mortensen, Member of Parliament and Member of the Greenland Committee
- Michael Klitgaard, Vice Chairman of the North Denmark EU-office, Mayor of Brønderslev
- Poul Hededal, Chairman, Arctic Business Network
- Ramon van Barneveld, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission
- Søren Bjerregaard, North Denmark EU-office
- Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg
- Thomas Tyt Mogensen, Greenland Business Association
- Thorkild Lauridsen, director, Arctic Consensus
- Tonny Skovsted Thorup, Business Aalborg
- Torben Søgaard, Aalborg Business council
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Download the press release here