On the 22nd of June, Arctic Consensus hosted a presentation with Mikkel Underlin Østergaard, associated with Arctic Consensus in his thesis writing as well as a student assistant. With a point of departure in his thesis from Aalborg University, Mikkel presented perspectives and results from his analyses.

In the analyses, the focus was on experiences from New Zealand and the United States’ free association agreements, which elements politicians from the party Siumut seeks to include in a free association agreement and lastly areas of contentions from a Danish perspective. Overall, the focus was on economy, citizenship and foreign- and security policies. Mikkel argued that there are promising possibilities in establishing a free association agreement between Greenland and Denmark. However, in this a major change of the block grant is included along with contingency on the degree of Danish security strategic interests in Greenland and concern of the areas of responsibility in the extension of Danish citizenship as well as concern of the division of responsibilities in foreign policies.

After the presentation, the content and findings of the Master’s thesis were discussed. It was noticeable that the high number of participants were all very interested in the topic, and they posed several questions regarding how free association could become significant for Greenland. The debate clarified that free association is possible with all willing states, but several different aspects affect how and with whom these agreements are established. Here, Mikkel referred to New Zealand and the United States, and their very different free association agreements as evident from the presentation.

The meeting was streamed online, where several other participants could take part in the presentation and the following debate.

You are more than welcome to contact Mikkel, if you have questions or anything else regarding the topic and thesis. Mikkel can be contacted at: muo@arctic-consensus.com