The project ‘Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic’ – the Preparatory Action for a European Arctic Information Centre (PA-EUAIC) – was Directorate General Environment-funded action compiling stakeholders' knowledge and perspectives on the scientific information about the development of the Arctic. The Preparatory Action strengthened communication and outreach within the EU and between the EU and the Arctic community about the contribution the EU is making to address environmental and other issues raised by the rapid development of the Arctic region as a result of economic and climate change. The project involved 19 European institutions and was completed in October 2014.
A crucial element of the Preparatory Action was to provide a series of reports consulted with the major Arctic and Arctic-related stakeholders during 2013-2014. The reports are available for a wide public: European Arctic Initiatives Compendium, Gap Analysis Report, Assessments in Policy-Making: Case Studies From The Arctic Council, Strategic Assessment of Development of the Arctic: Assessment Conducted for the European Union (SADA). Additionally, the project produced seven factsheets, which constituted main themes of the assessment (Climate Change in the Arctic, Changes in Arctic Maritime Transport, Changing Nature of Arctic Fisheries, Developing Oil and Gas Resources in Arctic Waters, Increasing Land Use Pressures in the European Arctic, Mining in the European Arctic, Social and Cultural Changes in the European Arctic).
The effectiveness and sustainability of the network of the European Union Arctic Information Centre initiative was tested and presented to the European Commission in the Network Feasibility Analysis report which presented options for implementation of the EU Arctic Information Centre, its potential services and products, and benefits for the European Union.
As the partner of the EUAIC initiative, the European Polar Board (EPB) is looking forward to continue cooperation if the Commission decides to implement the EU Arctic Information Centre. EPB supports the External Action Service and interested DGs of the Commission in reinforcing the EU’s Arctic-related communication, outreach and science-policy interface activities as part of wider work on the evolving Arctic policy of the European Union.