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Estonia Would Like For European Union to Gain Observer Status in Arctic Council


No 31-E

In Brussels at the end of last week, the European Union foreign ministers discussed the application for observer status for the European Union in the Arctic Council. “Permanent observer status would strengthen participation and awareness both in the Arctic and in the nearby regions,” Paet stated. “It would also facilitate regional co-operation, including co-operation in high technology through European Union research programmes, in which Estonia participates,” he added.

In looking at the European Union’s potential future as an observer in the Arctic Council, Estonia emphasises the advantages that would come from the European Union’s ability to facilitate research and technical development. “In addition, more and more attention is being given to the Arctic region in connection with security topics and international transport logistics,” Paet added.

The European Union submitted its application to gain observer status in the Arctic Council in 2008, but the Arctic Council postponed making a decision on the application until the ministerial meeting in May 2013, where the decision to grant observer status will be made by the foreign ministers of the Arctic Council unanimously. European Union member states that are members of the council are Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and permanent observer status has been given to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Great Britain. In addition to the European Union, other applicants for observer status are China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India, Italy, and Greenpeace.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

+372 637 7654



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