Finland is an active and responsible partner

 

Finland wants to be an active player in the Arctic in a sustainable manner, seeking growth, competitiveness and employment with due respect for the environment. Finland’s approach to the Arctic policy is outlined in the Government Programme.

The objectives of our Arctic policy are specified in more detail in Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region adopted in 2013 . The leading idea of the strategy is to present Finland as the pioneer of sustainable development in the Arctic. The strategy examines the ways to strengthen Finland’s position in the Arctic, trade opportunities that are opening up, environment, security and stability, position of the northern regions, international cooperation, and Arctic expertise in the broad sense. Promoting the rights of indigenous peoples is a key element of Finland’s Arctic and human rights policy.

The main outlines of the strategy are still valid today. The Government discussed the priorities of the strategy towards the end of 2016. The update of the strategy specifies further both Finland’s role and the Government objectives in the development of the Arctic region. The 2013 strategy has been revised from the perspective of the Government Programme objectives and key priorities, in line with the priorities to be established for the updating process. In March 2017 the Government approved the action plan for the update of the Arctic Strategy, which introduces concrete measures to achieve the objectives and, where possible, provides schedules for the progress to be made.

The framework conditions of sustainable development are taken into account in all activities. Finland wants to be a key player that produces solutions to various kinds of problems and questions concerning the development of the Arctic through innovative products and practices. Special emphasis is placed on the Arctic expertise we have in Finland, sustainable tourism and infrastructure solutions.

The Government’s objective is that Finland is a leading actor in international Arctic policy, both in the European Union and globally. Finland also sees the EU as the key actor in the Arctic region and supports efforts to consolidate its Arctic policy. Within the EU, Finland aims to develop Arctic cooperation as one of the priorities of the EU’s external relations. Full advantage is taken of the opportunities stated in the third Commission Communication concerning the European Union policy for the Arctic, published in 2016. Finland will be active in implementing the Communication.

The significance of the Arctic region is also stressed in the Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy, with special emphasis on Finland’s active role as a player in the Arctic region. Finland promotes the stability and security of the Arctic operating environment in bilateral and international contexts. The aim for Finland is broad cooperation that is based on common norms in the Arctic Council and Barents Euro-Arctic Council.The international, political and economic significance of the Arctic region keeps growing. This interest creates opportunities for the region, but there are also challenges. Finland wants to be an active player in the Arctic in a sustainable manner, seeking growth, competitiveness and employment with due respect for the environment. Finland’s approach to the Arctic policy is outlined in the Government Programme.