Finland’s Arctic Policy
The objectives of Finland’s Arctic policy are defined in the Government Programme. In addition to the Government Programme the principles and objectives of Finland’s Arctic policies are described in Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region published in 2013 and updated in October 2016.
The guiding principle of Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region is to make the Arctic region in Finland a forerunner for sustainable development in the Arctic region. The strategy examines how to strengthen Finland’s position in the Arctic region, the new business opportunities, the environment, security and stability, the position of the northernmost regions in the country, international cooperation and Arctic expertise from a broader perspective. The strategy also outlines Finland’s role in the Arctic region that consists of four components: 1) Finland is an Arctic country, 2) Finland has Arctic expertise, 3) Sustainable development and environmental considerations will be taken into account in all Arctic activities and 4) International cooperation will be promoted and Finland’s position strengthened. In international operations Finland emphasizes the role of the Arctic Council as the primary forum for Arctic issues and supports the strengthening of the institutional role of the Council.
The mandate of the Arctic Advisory Board appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office is to monitor and coordinate Finland’s activities in the Arctic and the implementation of Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region.
The Arctic Society of Finland follows the development of the Arctic region and aims to influence decisions concerning the Arctic regions so that they would serve the interests of Finland.
Finland will chair the Arctic Council in 2017–2019. Finland’s program for the chairmanship aims to promote Arctic cooperation especially in the fields of environmental protection, meteorology, connectivity, and education. The Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development guide the Council’s work.
More information about the Chairmanship in the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
You can find more information about the Arctic region and about the way it is defined on the website of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland.
”Finland is actively involved in multilateral cooperation at the global and regional levels to achieve its own Arctic goals and to pre-empt global threats. ”
- Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region
The most important forum covering the whole Arctic region for Finland’s Arctic policies is the Arctic Council. It is a cooperation forum established by eight Arctic states (Iceland, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia and the United States). Also the indigenous peoples are involved in the work of the Arctic Council. The task of the council is to promote the cooperation between the Arctic states and the indigenous peoples, especially in questions related to sustainable development and the protection of the environment.
Barents Euro-Arctic Council
On state level the Barents cooperation is carried out by the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. The objective is to promote stability and sustainable development in the Barents region that covers the northern parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and the northwestern parts of Russia. The Barents cooperation provides a practical regional viewpoint to the larger Arctic cooperation.
Barents Regional Council
Alongside the intergovernmental Barents Euro-Arctic Council the Barents Regional Council works on the level of regions. In Finland the regions of Lapland, Kainuu, Oulu and North Karelia participate in the cooperation.
is cooperation between four equal partners: the European Union, Russian Federation, Norway and Iceland. It aims at supporting stability, well-being and sustainable development. In Finland the Northern Dimension policy is coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region
Even the members of parliament of the Arctic states have their own form of Arctic cooperation. The Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region includes members from the national parliaments of the Arctic states and the European Parliament. Permanent participants include key organisations of indigenous peoples in the region.
The observers in the Arctic Council and international parliamentary organisations can also participate. The Finnish delegation consists of six members.
The Nordic Council is the parliamentary organ for official Nordic cooperation. It was established in 1952. The council has a total of 87 elected members from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland as well as from the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
Nordic Council of Ministers
The official body for inter-governmental cooperation in the Nordic Region is the Nordic Council of Ministers (link). The organ for cooperation aims at finding common Nordic solutions that have clear positive effects on the citizens.
The cooperation between regions in the Arctic is promoted by The Northern Forum. The Northern Forum brings together decision-makers on the regional level to discuss their shared interests and to promote business contacts. The Northern Forum has the position of an observer in the Arctic Council.
The Arctic Economic Council
The Arctic Economic Council
(AEC) is an independent organization created by the Arctic Council. Its purpose is to facilitate Arctic business-to-business activities and responsible economic development. Through the sharing of best practices, standards and innovative solutions the AEC will promote responsible economic development in the Arctic.