Maritime Affairs

Commissioner Vella promises EU support for the Arctic and its people at Tromsø conference

Commissioner Vella promises EU support for the Arctic and its people at Tromsø conference

Commissioner Vella promises EU support for the Arctic and its people at Tromsø conference

23/01/2017

Commissioner Vella is travelling to Tromsø, Norway, to attend the Arctic Frontiers conference, one of the biggest Arctic gatherings of the year. The Commissioner's attendance is preparation for a midsummer arctic showcase of EU commitment to the region. That event will take place on 15-16 June in Finland and is designed to promote action to protect and support sustainable development in the region and the 4 million who live there.

Speaking at a panel session on the blue-green Arctic economy, the Commissioner said: "Climate change in the Arctic is a real cause for concern. The region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world – and every year seems to bring more bad news. That is why the European Union is engaged in the Arctic. With our integrated policy for the Arctic, our prime objective is to respond to climate change and safeguard the Arctic environment, to strengthen cooperation with our Arctic partners, and to promote sustainable blue-green development".

The impact of the EU on the Arctic – and of the Arctic on the EU – is becoming increasingly more intense, hence the need for an integrated and a coordinated approach. Against this background, the European Commission and EU High Representative adopted a Joint Communication on the EU Arctic policy in April last year.  

Following the conference, Commissioner Vella will participate in an open session of the Arctic Stakeholder Forum, a forum set up by the Commission in 2016. It brings together governments, regional and local authorities from the European Arctic to identify key investment priorities for the Arctic and ways to better streamline EU funding programmes in the future.

More information

Speech by Commissioner Vella: Arctic Frontiers Conference "White Space – Blue Future, Arctic Stakeholder Forum" in Tromso, Norway

Speech by Commissioner Vella: Arctic Frontiers Conference "White Space – Blue Future", "Blue-green economy" session

Arctic Frontiers conference

2016 Joint communication: An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic

Video: Introducing an integrated EU policy for the Arctic