Grant for the EU’s Arctic policy research

3.3.2016 15:40

Adam Stepien from the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland has received a grant of EUR 16.000 from the Finnish Cultural Foundation for the final stage of work on his doctoral dissertation titled “The European Union’s Arctic policy as a region-focused coherence-making practice”. The grant covers in particular work towards developing policy instruments and policy ideas enhancing the EU’s procedural coherence in the Arctic.

The EU has gradually expanded the scope of its Arctic policy, which initially comprised various strands of the EU’s external action, but is increasingly encompassing internal issues. Ideas for enhancing Lapland’s infrastructure or interaction with Sámi are nowadays a crucial part of the EU Arctic debates, alongside maritime issues.

Stepien analyzes this expanding Arctic policy as a coherence-enhancing practice and a cross-cutting policy to great extent determined by preexisting general policies, such as climate, energy, environment or transport. The Arctic policy-making is thus a desire to enhance the coherence of fragmented EU Arctic-relevant activities.

– I believe this is the most appropriate way to understand Arctic policy and to assess its added value for Arctic communities and for the EU itself. This approach also makes it easier to propose ways of improving EU performance, especially within the European Arctic and Northern Fennoscandia.

Stepien concludes that the emphasis should not be on formulating an integrated Arctic policy or adopting a coherent set of objectives.

– Instead, the key to added value is long-term procedural coherence. This means facilitating internal EU coordination, establishing procedures and frameworks allowing for integration of Arctic concerns into general EU policy-making and promoting continuous engagement with Arctic stakeholders.

The Cultural Foundation’s grant covers the work on refining and specifying these propositions.

More information:
Adam Stepien
+358 (0) 404844298