Dalhousie Law Journal


European Union, actic power, Canada, resource extraction, navigation, Russia, environment, protection, science, indigenous


The European Union is not generally perceived as an Arctic power However, the ever-expanding list of EU competences implies that it will have both an interest in participating in the governance of the Arctic and the authority to do so, should the seven Arctic states agree to make room. This development holds both challenges and opportunities for Canada and other Arctic states. The challenges stem from the factthat the EU will seek topromote the economic interests ofits Member States in resource extraction and freedom of navigation where Canada and Russia, in particular, have asserted strong national policies. The opportunities lie in the fact that the EU is likely to support strong environmental protection and to be ready to finance enhanced scientific research. Having incurred the wrath of indigenous peoples of the Arctic with its seal products ban, the EU faces particular difficulties in trying to participate in the Circumpolar Conference.