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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article30 January 2024Service for Foreign Policy Instruments1 min read

EU and the Arctic: launch of pioneering projects for regional cooperation and youth engagement

The European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) launched two projects on 30 January – the Arctic Urban-Regional Cooperation and the Youth Together for Arctic Futures.  

Youth Together for Arctic Futures
European Commission

The Arctic is home to millions of people, living in a variety of contexts, from small, traditional communities to bustling cities. Many global challenges converge in the Arctic: climate change, geopolitical pressures, energy and green transition, food security, social challenges of demographic change, migration, gender and sexual inequalities and access to healthcare or education. As the impact of rising temperatures, economic competition and geopolitics are keenly felt, local communities including Indigenous Peoples are turning to international cooperation to carve out sustainable and inclusive futures.

The Arctic Urban- Regional Cooperation (AURC) project will enable a network of Arctic cities to work together to tackle shared challenges in a structured and supported way. The AURC network, funded by the European Union, gathers 15 local authorities from Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and USA that will work together learning from each other and developing local action plans. This initiative is one element of the EU Arctic policy, detailed in a Joint Communication from 2021. It streamlines the EU engagement notably in tackling the climate challenge through the European Green Deal, working within the EU and with international partners to promote sustainable development.

Arctic Urban- Regional Cooperation
European Commission

Through the Youth Together for Arctic Futures project, FPI is empowering Arctic youth to influence policies that affect them. This project not only seeks to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on Arctic youth, but also recognises the importance of involving European youth in the dialogue. By fostering collaboration and mutual learning between Arctic and European youth, the project aims to bridge gaps, facilitate the exchange of ideas, and help to collectively find solutions to common challenges. It is a unique opportunity for European youth to gain insights into the specific issues facing the Arctic, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and understanding. 

These initiatives are implemented by FPI, working in close cooperation with the European External Action Service (EU Special Envoy for Arctic Matters), and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE).

The launch took place in Tromsø, Norway, during the prestigious Arctic Frontiers conference.

Find out more:

The EU in the Arctic


Publication date
30 January 2024
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments