The icy wilderness of The North Pole is not subject to international law but not free of human interference. Several countries have staked sovereignty claims, no doubt motivated by potential profits from oil and gas deposits. Catherine Ashton, Europe’s fo
The North Pole is one the planet’s last unconquered areas. The Arctic is coveted by nations like Canada, Russia, but also EU states like Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The Arctic subsoils house many natural resources like oil and gas. Given the stakes, MEPs want Europe to play a more prominent political role. Of the eight arctic countries, five are European countries, so we have more than a majority there, so we have every right to be involved on behalf of our citizens. The Arctic is not subject to international law unlike the Antarctic in the South Pole. Several countries want their claims over the Arctic to be recognised. In this geostrategic game, Catherine Ashton, the foreign affairs chief, wants to fly the flag for Europe. Our citizens and companies must be treated fairly in areas like transport and natural resources and that must be done in a deliberate and careful manner with environmental safeguards. A game of political strategy that often overlooks local populations. For the indigenous people it’s more than just protection on our part. It’s a question of respecting their right to self-determination. The Parliament intends to make its voice heard. A text will be presented to MEPs at the end of the year.