On October 13, 2021 the European Commission and the European External Action Service unveiled the new joint communication on the EU's role in and plans for the Arctic region.
In this brand new policy document the EU promises to further strengthen its engagement in the region, working with partners to ensure a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic.
Specifically, the EU plans to continue to promote science, research and innovation for the benefit of the Arctic. The EU-PolarNet 2 project will spearhead the research liaison by coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research Area, which aims to strengthen the European Polar research community.
As part of their strategic foresight to understand how climate change related environmental changes are leading to geopolitical interest with a high potential for increased competition, the EU acknowledges, among other things, that there is an urgent need to address the adverse effects of thawing permafrost and associated gas hydrates, which present a clear danger to the Arctic environment and its people, and which have wider repercussions beyond the Arctic as well.
"Further research is needed to develop adaptation and mitigation measures and increase knowledge of the impact on communities and sustainable development. The EU already supports these activities under Horizon 2020 in the Nunataryuk project. The Arctic Passion project will build on this work, monitoring and forecasting permafrost thaw and mapping permafrost parameters using Copernicus satellites and in situ observations, including data provided by indigenous groups."