Voltaire Network: Colonial ambitions of the European Union in the Arctic

The European Foreign Affairs Council met in Brussels on 9 December 2019 to decide on its policy in the Arctic.

Unashamedly, the Council stated that it “recognizes the primary responsibility of the Arctic States for the development of the Arctic but also considers that many of the issues affecting the region are of a global nature and are more effectively addressed through regional or multilateral cooperation in particular the Arctic Council and including via the UN system” (sic).

In other words, just as President Emmanuel Macron had declared at the G7 summit in Biarritz that the fate of the Amazon didn’t depend solely on the states of the region, but also on the G7 member countries, the European Council called into question the sovereignty of the Arctic states.

However, while in Biarritz last August, EU Council President Donald Tusk, had overlooked the existence of ACTO (Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization), this time under its new President Charles Michel, the EU Council acknowledged the Arctic Council.

Unlike the ACTO, the Arctic Council is not only made up of countries which possess portions of land located within the region, but also encompasses indigenous peoples.

Despite its precautionary words, the position taken by the Council clearly marks a return to the colonial period.