Europe’s North: The Arctic Policies of Sweden, Norway, and Finland
The Arctic policies of Norway, Sweden, and Finland reflect the efforts of three prominent, social-democratic nations to respond to the needs and aspirations of northern residents, including the Sami, capitalize on the national interest in northern resources, and share in the governance and oversight of the Circumpolar world through active engagement in collaborative organizations. The three countries have, in general, provided national-quality public services and infrastructure to the region and have avoided the gaps between Indigenous peoples and newcomers that have characterized other Circumpolar nations. In recent decades, Norway, Finland, and Sweden have emerged from the northern shadow of Europe to become key leaders in Circumpolar affairs, backing up their political involvement in Arctic planning, the Arctic Council, and regional economic development with substantial investments in the socioeconomic and cultural re-empowerment of the Far North. Because so much of the region defined as being within the North in their respective countries is geographically sub-Arctic as opposed to Arctic, Finland, Sweden, and Norway have a unique opportunity to promote a more inclusive definition of the North so that other sub-Arctic regions of the world are drawn into the crucial planning activities of the Circumpolar world.
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