The third Arctic Communication highlights three priorities for a future integrated EU policy: climate change and safeguarding the Arctic environment, sustainable development, and international cooperation on Arctic issues.
The opinion stresses that one of the biggest challenges is sustainable socio-economic development. Sustainable exploitation of natural resources is a key aspect of economic growth and efforts to increase prosperity in the Arctic region. A prerequisite for this is efficient transport and telecommunications links. The Committee of the Regions also proposes that the geographical definition of the Arctic region given in the communication be broadened, in light of issues such as promoting sustainable development, adapting to climate change and fostering European competitiveness as well as taking account of the needs and potential of local communities and indigenous populations.
Forseen adoption: February 2017
Sustainable development is the only feasible way of development in the Arctic region. The role of the Arctic regions and local people in safeguarding sustainable development is in the core of all Arctic policies.