The Arctic is changing rapidly and is increasingly high on the international agenda. It is our joint responsibility to protect the fragile Arctic environment for future generations whilst promoting the sustainable development of the region.
In response to these developments, the European Union has developed an integrated policy on the Arctic. Engagement with Arctic stakeholders is one of the cornerstones of the EU's Arctic policy, adopted in April 2016 by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
It is for this reason that the European Commission will be organising the 1st Arctic Stakeholder Conference “Knowing, developing and connecting the Arctic” in Brussels on 17 September 2018.
The conference will be opened by Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the EU's Arctic policy, and will bring together around 200 Arctic stakeholders including representatives from local, regional and national authorities from the European Arctic and beyond, Arctic indigenous peoples and the EU institutions.
The purpose of the conference is to follow-up on the recommendations formulated in the final report of the Arctic Stakeholder Forum which identified investment needs and priorities for the sustainable development of the Arctic region. Discussions will therefore be organised around the following themes: Arctic connectivity, leveraging investment in the Arctic, and financial support for cross-border cooperation and Arctic science.
Moreover, the 2018 edition of the annual Arctic indigenous peoples Dialogue will also take place on the occasion of the conference. In order to enhance synergies and generate discussion, the Dialogue will be organised as a conference session open to all.