Arctic cities and local communities are key players in research and innovation
The increasing strategic importance of the Arctic is being recognised within the European Union. In an opinion drafted by Pauliina Haijanen, town councillor of Laitila (FI, EPP), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) stresses that concerted efforts are needed at local, regional and international level in order to tackle the challenges of the northern regions’ specific environmental and socio-economic characteristics.
In April 2016 the European Commission published a communication setting out the basis for an EU policy for the Arctic. Climate change mitigation and adaptation, together with protection of the fragile Arctic environment, feature very prominently in the communication. “One of the biggest challenges is to find a balance between ensuring environmental well-being and exploiting the opportunities afforded by socio-economic development”, said CoR rapporteur Pauliina Haijanen.