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The European Union and the Geopolitics of the Arctic

Andreas Raspotnik

The Arctic is a region that has seen exponential growth as a space of geopolitical interest over the past decade. This insightful book is the first to analyse the European Union’s Arctic policy endeavours of the early 21st Century from a critical geopolitical perspective.
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Chapter 7: A European geopolitical subject in the Arctic?

Andreas Raspotnik


How did the European Union try to construct a regulated EU space in the Arctic and evolve as a geopolitical subject? The interaction between presence and policy exemplifies that geographical Arctic presence is not a prerequisite for regional influence and related capabilities and actorness. The EU has not yet been fully accepted at the Arctic governance table nor was it able to create an enhanced Arctic legitimacy in Europe in order to eventually place the region more prominently on the EU’s agenda. Although both climate change and research efforts serve as Arctic access points, this nexus could not have been materialised as a single organising idea to become an Arctic policy driving force. Moreover, the EU acts as a sui generis geopolitical subject in the circumpolar North.

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