Finland's Arctic and Antarctic cooperation
Finland is an active Polar actor. We are one of eight permanent members of the Arctic Council and one of 29 consultative parties making decisions concerning Antarctica.
The Arctic is still one of the purest and most pristine regions in the world. However, today it is also facing rapid and partly controversial changes. Climate change and its impacts and repercussions, both regionally and globally, logistics opportunities that open up as the ice is melting, pandemics and the natural resources of the Arctic have made the region increasingly interesting, but also more vulnerable on the international arena.
As also stated in Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government Programme, the key premises of Finland’s Arctic cooperation are the carrying capacity of the natural environment, climate protection, and respect for the sustainable development principles and rights of indigenous populations. According to the Government Programme, Finland will also be an active player in strengthening the Arctic policy of the EU.
The Strategy for the Arctic Region, adopted in 2013 and updated in 2016, specifies the objectives and means of Finland’s Arctic policy. Now the Arctic policy strategy is being revised on the basis of the current Government Programme.
Finland's foreign and EU policy on the Arctic
Finland’s foreign and EU policy on the Arctic builds on cooperation in the EU, the Arctic Council and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, and in the context of the Northern Dimension Partnerships. Nordic cooperation strengthens Finland’s Arctic role.
Environmental cooperation and respect for the interests of indigenous populations are important elements of Finland’s Arctic foreign and EU policy.
Arctic Advisory Board
The Arctic Advisory Board, appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office for the term 3 February 2020–31 October 2023, brings together the key Finnish stakeholders involved in Arctic affairs. The Arctic Advisory Board is chaired by Mikko Koskinen, State Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, the vice-chair is Petteri Vuorimäki, Ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctic at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary General is Nina Brander, Senior Specialist at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Advisory Board supports and strengthens Finland’s Arctic policy and promotes the achievement of its objectives.
Finland’s Antarctic cooperation
The key forum for Antarctic cooperation is the Consultative Meeting of the Antarctic Treaty, held every year to discuss matters relating to the Treaty. The decision-making power is exercised by the Consultative Parties. Finland acceded to the Treaty in 1984 and gained Consultative Party status in 1989. Now the number of Consultative Parties to the Treaty is 29.
Achieving the Consultative Party status requires significant research efforts, where Finland’s particular focus has been on meteorology, geology and geophysics. The building of Finland’s research station Aboa in Queen Maud Land was completed in 1989. Finland has active research and logistics cooperation with other countries operating in the Antarctic region.