Headline: European Union Actorness in Arctic Governance

This Working Paper sheds light on the role and influenceof non-Arctic actors¹ in Arctic governance.Specifically, it looks at various factors that enable orimpede stakeholder collaboration in the developmentof sustainable governance frameworks for which variousstakeholder groups from within and outside theArctic region must be engaged.² The two illustrativecases considered here are the European Union’s (EU)involvement in black carbon reduction and in themanagement of fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.By comparing these two cases, we gain a good senseof the EU’s varying degree of actorness in Arctic issueswithin the context of an increasingly complexArctic institutional framework. This in turn revealsenabling and constraining factors of non-Arctic actorengagement in Arctic governance.The paper shows that the EU strives to influenceArctic governance across different policy fields. Thedegree of actorness achieved by the EU (understoodas the institutional involvement in regional regulatoryarrangements that are part of the Arctic regimecomplex) varies significantly across these differentfields. It also presents contradictory evidence of EUArctic engagement, with the EU emerging as a strongactor in an area where the Union has no exclusivecompetence (i.e. climate change), but displaying weakactorness in an area where we would expect the EUto take on a strong role on the basis of its exclusivecompetence (i.e. the conservation of marine biologicalresources). The paper finds that the degree of EUactorness depends firstly on the EU’s internal consistencyin a respective policy field, and secondly on theinterests of the major relevant Arctic actors and thebenefits that they expect to draw from cooperation.

Publication Year
Publication Type
RIFS Discussion Papers and RIFS Working Papers

Ziemer, L. (2016). European Union Actorness in Arctic Governance. IASS Working Paper, (December 2016).

Projects involved
Sustainable Modes of Arctic Resource-driven Transformations