The European Union, the Arctic, and International Law

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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  • 1 University of SevilleSevilleSpain
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The European Union (EU) is willing to participate as much as possible at the negotiation table to meet the challenges that the Arctic poses and benefit from the opportunities it offers. But the relationship between the EU and the Arctic is ‘problematic’ for both external (EU difficulties particularly with Canada and Russia) and internal reasons (substantive competing interests and ambivalent policies, discrepancies among member States and within EU institutions …). Without a specific policy tradition or a direct geographical link, the EU has not yet gained legitimacy to become a key ‘Arctic actor’ or stakeholder. The EU needs to take an active stance on issues relating to the Arctic (including maritime delimitation, which is critical for determining navigational rights, the scope of Art. 234, etc.); because otherwise, the EU reduces its chances to make an impact on the relevant international fora and, ultimately, on making and implementing Arctic international law.

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