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23rd May 2022

Arctic Policy

New Direction Foreign Policy Council
Reykjavik, Iceland

The Arctic is a delicate region both ecologically and politically - with eight nations sharing the region, including three EU Member States. The EUs new Arctic Strategy was announced in October 2021 calling for a safe, stable, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous Arctic. The new strategy covers everything from economics, to security, to the environment - all at a time of increased change at the top of the Northern Hemisphere. Changing ice sheets are opening new routes for commercial shipping, but also for naval navigation - creating new tensions. The Arctic is more important than ever. 

New Direction, under its Foreign Policy Council, will hold a roundtable discussion in Reykjavik on security policy in the Arctic. Looking at defence, trade, and energy.

Arctic Policy



Introductory Remarks


Opening Remarks

  • Anna Fotyga MEP, Former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rapporteur for the resolution on The Arctic: opportunities, concerns and security challenges


Panel Discussion

Security and Defence

Despite existing treaties, the Arctic is increasingly becoming a focal point for militarisation. With both Russia and NATO active in securing this highly strategic and contested region, how can NATO and its allies best secure stability in the Arctic. 

  • Moderator: Anna Fotyga MEP
  • Timo Soini, Former Foreign Minister Finland
  • Alan Mendoza, Henry Jackson Society
  • Admiral Nils Wang, Director - Naval Team Denmark (remotely)
  • Dr Harry Nedelcu, Director of Policy and Business Development at Rasmussen Global
  • Admiral James Boutilier




Panel Discussion

Economic Security

The countries of the arctic have diverse and dynamic economies and represent lucrative opportunities for investment. With new potential trade routes opening up around the Arctic, how can the EU and the West best utilise these new opportunities. 

  • Moderator: Hannes Gissurarson, Professor of Politics
  • Heidar Gudjonsson, CEO Vodafon Iceland
  • Doaa Abdel-Motaal, Visiting Professor, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva, and Author of "Antarctica, the Battle for the Seventh Continent"
  • Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Former Prime Minister of Iceland and Leader of the Center Party 
  • Ville Majamaa, Deputy Director at YPFP


Coffee Break


Panel Discussion

Energy and Climate Security

Climate policy has always been important for the Arctic region – from protection of natural resources such as fish stocks, to securing reliable sources of energy. What practical solutions exist to promote sustainable growth in the Arctic.

  • Moderator: Robert Tyler, Senior Policy Advisor, New Direction
  • Professor Ragnar Árnason, Expert on Fisheries
  • Professor Alan Riley, Atlantic Council
  • Rob Roos MEP, Vice Chairman of the ECR Group
  • Witold d'Humilly de Chevilly, Executive Director, New Direction


Closing Remarks