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Government outlined measures for implementing arctic policy

Government Communications Department
Publication date 7.4.2017 14.32
Press release 154/2017

The Government has outlined measures for implementing Finnish arctic policy. Finland will reinforce its foreign and EU policy in the Arctic region, utilise its Arctic know-how, promote sustainable tourism and support transport and other infrastructure projects in the region. The objectives are included in the action plan for the updated Finnish Arctic Strategy adopted by the Government last week.

The action plan translates the key objectives and measures of the strategy priorities into concrete terms and defines a schedule for them when possible. A network of officials accountable for Arctic issues, coordinated by the Secretariat for Government Strategy Work, will monitor and report on the implementation of the plan.

Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council takes centre stage

It is very important for the Finnish foreign and EU policy in the Arctic Region that Finland is successful in managing the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council that starts on 11 May. Finland wants to strengthen the EU’s arctic policy and makes every effort to harness the funding and other opportunities offered by the EU in the Arctic and northern regions. Arctic policy should be made one of the priorities of the international relations of the EU.

Climate change work and the UN sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030) form the framework of the programme for Finland’s Chairmanship. Key themes include environmental protection, communications collaboration, meteorology and education.

Finland takes into account the role of indigenous peoples in Arctic cooperation. Finland also holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum and a Finnish operator holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Economic Council in 2017–2019. Close cooperation between different forums contributes to concrete results.

Finland seeks international markets for its expertise in cold climates

Finland wants to make better use of its Arctic cold expertise. The sensitive environment and challenging natural conditions in the Arctic region highlight the need to adapt to harsh conditions. Finland’s special expertise includes maritime safety as well as the mitigation of climate change by utilising different kinds of energy solutions.

Cold expertise will be promoted by commissioning so-called brokers to review international needs for Finnish expertise in cold climates. Finland wants to establish a space incubator to make use of space technology in practical solutions. The incubator would be partially funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The expertise of Finnish training and rescue authorities is highlighted in maritime safety and winter navigation.

The Artic region is seen as a competitive asset in tourism marketing. Finland wants to create sustainable tourist destinations through a programme that respects local communities, cultures and the natural environment. A key objective in the programme is to increase international awareness of Finland as an Arctic tourist destination.

Quality digital and physical environments create opportunities for making use of Finnish Arctic expertise and for creating sustainable business growth in the Arctic region. The North-East cable project connecting the growth centres in Asia and Europe has a key role in the construction of infrastructure.

Inquiries: Nina Brander, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 160 347, Prime Minister's Office (action plan for the updated Finnish Arctic Strategy) and Aleksi Härkönen, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 471, Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Arctic foreign and EU policy).