Article | Last updated: 26/01/2021
The Norwegian Government presented a new white paper on Arctic policy on 27 November 2020. A short version is now available in English.
The new white paper underlines the importance of bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation with our neighbours and partners in the Arctic, also in the face of a more challenging security environment.
It lays out how international law applies in the Arctic just as it does elsewhere in the world, and it gives broad consideration to domestic policy issues in the region. Further developing North Norway as a strong, dynamic and highly competent region is the best way to safeguard Norwegian interests in the Arctic. North Norway accounts for 35 % of Norway’s mainland territory, and 9 % of Norway’s population lives north of the Arctic Circle.
Considering Norway’s geopolitical location, this also has strategic significance beyond the demographics. The input on which the white paper is based has largely been obtained through dialogue with counties, municipalities, the Sámediggi (Sami parliament), and key stakeholders from the business sector, various organisations and knowledge institutions in the north. A dedicated youth panel was set up in connection with the preparation of the white paper and has provided a report with recommendations.
The white paper does not provide a list of all political initiatives or measures that could conceivably be relevant for or in the Arctic. The Government’s aims and ambitions will therefore also be followed up in future sectoral and budgetary processes.