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Antarctica: What role for the European Union?

What is the EU's role in Antarctica? Dr. Andreas Raspotnik and Prof. Klaus Dodds have done In-Depth Analysis and their report for the European Parliament "Antarctica: What role for the European Union" is available here.


The European Union has yet to communicate its strategic ideas for Antarctica. Unlike the EU’s engagement with the Arctic region, which is acknowledged to be both coherent and substantive, the southern polar region is best described as an emerging area of interest. However, this could all change as shifting geopolitical dynamics transform Antarctica’s status as a reliable pole of peace. The EU needs to develop a robust understanding of the geopolitical situation in Antarctica. There is growing evidence that parties associated with the Antarctic Treaty System are struggling to secure consensus over a range of issues, including ocean conservation, environmental protection measures and the management of geostrategic rivalries. 20 EU Member States are involved in the formal governance of Antarctica, and France is one of the seven historic claimant states. The EU continues to be an active champion of Marine Protected Areas for the Southern Ocean, but there are opportunities to leverage the expertise of EU research institutions and infrastructure to inform and shape the future direction of EU Antarctic policy. It is now opportune for the EU to develop a more coherent and overarching approach to Antarctica, as there are core interests at stake. The study offers six recommendations.

Find the whole publication here: