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03/11/14

Commissioner Damanaki presents EU's Arctic Policy at EU Foreign Affairs Council

Commissioner Maria Damanaki, together with EU High Representative, Vice President Baroness Ashton, presented to the EU Foreign Affairs Council of Ministers the EU's Policy towards the Arctic that has been adopted by the Commission and reaffirmed the EU’s interest in becoming a permanent observer to the Arctic Council. Commissioner Damanaki said:

"The EU has established itself as a key supporter of the Arctic region. It has raised awareness of the impact that the change is having on the Arctic environment, but also of the potential for sustainable development in the Arctic region, for the benefit of both the local Arctic population and the EU. In this vein the EU is the world’s strongest proponent of greater international efforts to fight climate change, but also the greater contributor to research programs on sustainable exploitation of Arctic Resources. The EU is also a major destination of resources and goods from the Arctic region.

The recent joint Commission/High Representative Communication says exactly that the EU will:
- Support research and channel knowledge to address the challenges of environmental and climate changes in the Arctic;
- Act with responsibility to contribute to ensuring that economic development in the Arctic is based on sustainable use of resources and environmental expertise;
- Intensify its constructive engagement and dialogue with Arctic States, indigenous peoples and other partners."

Last week, Commissioner Damanaki travelled to Tromsø, Norway, where she presented the EU policy towards the Arctic at the annual Arctic Frontiers Conference.

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