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Northern Europe and the Arctic Agenda: Roles of Nordic and Other Sub-Regional Organizations

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AbstractAside from the Arctic Council itself, a number of inter-governmental neighbourhood groupings – here defined as ‘sub-regional’ – have mandates covering at least part of the European High North. This paper asks how far the issues on the emerging Arctic agenda are addressed, in practical and/or policy terms, by such multilateral entities as the Nordic Council, Nordic Council of Ministers, Barents Euro-Arctic Council, Northern Dimension of the European Union, and Council of Baltic Sea States. Do these groups play conscious and helpful roles in tackling specific Arctic challenges, supporting a cooperative approach, and/or building joint Arctic policy platforms for their members? If not, do the explanations lie in the nature and limited competences of ‘sub-regional’ governance; in a lack of coordination, divisions and discrepancies between the bodies in question; or in an absence of political will? The need and scope for improvements are finally addressed against the wider political and institutional backdrop of the Arctic.

Affiliations: 1: University of Iceland


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