December 12th revolved around topics such as “EU-offices in Greenland and Faroe Islands” and “the Arctic as a significant point of agenda” for the new EU-commission for 2019-2024
One of the weighty topics at this dialogue meeting was brought up by the Estonian EU-parliamentarian, Urmas Paet, who underlined that an EU-office in Greenland and Faroe Islands should be established. He mentioned in this context that the EU should have an active position when it comes to the Arctic, just as the US and China do. Urmas Paet was the first of four speakers on this meeting.
I relation to this, the Finnish Senior Advisor for the EU Commission on Arctic Affairs, Jari Vilén, contributed by pointing out that the new President for the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, does not mention the Arctic in her political guidelines for the next Commission from 2019-2024. He considers this as a clear challenge, and he thinks that the Arctic should play a larger role in the future work of the Commission.
Greenland was represented through Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, who is a member of the Danish Folketing for the Greenlandic party IA. She was very active both in her presentation as well as in the following dialogue. Her participation in the meeting created a nuanced dialogue about the relations between Greenland and the EU. Aaja Chemnitz Larsen also supported the proposition of having an EU representation in Greenland. She also called for the cooperation between Greenland and the EU to have a more proactive approach. Furthermore, she also mentioned that the indigenous people of Greenland must set the agenda when talking with EU or USA.
The content and character of the dialogue meeting underlines the importance of a setting like this one, where both participants and speakers can have an active dialogue and bring proposals as to what should be on EU’s agenda for the Arctic in the coming years.