During the last five years a number of states, including Russia and the US, have developed Arctic strategies partly in response to the growing environmental and resource importance of the Arctic region. The area has also been one of increased security interest, especially after a Russian submarine was used to plant a Russian flag at the North Pole.In 2007, the Commission's Integrated Maritime strategy referred at the Arctic, as did the High Representative & Commission policy paper on Climate Change & International Security which recommended an EU Arctic Policy. After a European Parliament debate on the subject, the Commission issued a Communication on the EU and the Arctic region at the end of 2008.This paper examines EU activity in this area and asks the questions: why has the EU got involved in the Arctic and what are the next likely steps? The analysis will be undertaken using EU documents and material from interviews. It will also ask to what extent these actions are a reflection of an expansion of EU 'presence' or of institutional competition.
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