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A new era in the Arctic Council's external relations? Broader consequences of the Nuuk observer rules for Arctic governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2013

Piotr Graczyk
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, Political Science and Community Planning, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
Timo Koivurova
Affiliation:
The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre (University of Lapland), Finland (timo.koivurova@ulapland.fi)

Abstract

This article studies the role of observers under both the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) and the Arctic Council (AC) before the Nuuk ministerial meeting that took place in May 2011. In this meeting, the AC actors were able to find consensus on criteria for admitting new observers, an issue that has received much media attention, given that China and the European Union, for example, are queuing to become observers in the AC. It is of importance to examine the content of these recently adopted Nuuk observer rules and their potential to impact decision-making on whether the external actors can be included as observers. Moreover, this article studies how, if at all, the Nuuk observer rules might affect the position of the AC in the broader setting of circumpolar cooperation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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