Artic Advisory Board gathers experts in Artic affairs
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Artic Advisory Board gathers experts in Artic affairs

The Arctic Advisory Board, which has been appointed by the Prime Minister's Office, plays a central role in the Artic policy in Finland. The Advisory Board supports and strengthens Finland’s Arctic policy, promotes its objectives, raises awareness of Arctic issues and clarifies the Arctic identity.

Jäänmurtaja Eteläsatamassa. Kuva: Jouni Törmänen/Lehtikuva
Photo: Jouni Törmänen/Lehtikuva

The Board is chaired by Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Ambassador Harri Mäki-Reinikka from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs serves as its General Secretary.

The Advisory Board follows the implementation of Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region and conducts regular dialogue on international Arctic policy matters, including on Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and the Arctic policy of the EU.

“In accordance with the Strategy, Finland wants to play a central role in producing solutions to different problems related the development of the Arctic. The theme of Finland’s two-year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council starting in May, ‘Exploring common solutions’, is appropriate,” Mäki-Reinikka concludes.

Harri Mäki-Reinikka

“Finnish experts have much to offer. The most well-known Finnish brands from cleantech to design fit well in our general country brand in the Arctic aspect as well. The Arctic element strengthens our country brand and the general country brand strengthens our Arctic qualities.”

Nordic questions on EU agenda

Finland seeks to feature as the most Arctic of the EU Member States and therefore also the most active Member State in the Union's northern areas.

In future, the northern areas will be a more integral part of all EU Member States’ policies. Based on its Joint Communication on an integrated EU policy for the Arctic, the European Union is prepared to extend its support to investments, infrastructure, innovations, education and research in the north.

EU Arctic policy discussed in Oulu in June

The EU Arctic policy will be discussed in the European Union’s first high-level Artic event, co-hosted by the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, to be held in Oulu in June.  Several Commissioners and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini will attend the meeting.

The main themes of the meeting will be climate change and the challenges of sustainable development in the Arctic.

Energising the Northern Dimension

Mäki-Reinikka considers that Finland may find the European Union’s increased interest in its northernmost areas and the upcoming stakeholder forum in Oulu useful when goals are established for Finland’s Presidency of the EU in autumn 2019 and when the EU transfers to a multiannual financial framework in 2021.

This may also add vigour the EU Northern Dimension policies.