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Canada's Northern Strategy

The Northern Dimension of Canada's Foreign Policy sets out a vision for Canada and its place in the circumpolar world, based on cooperation with people in the North and Canada's circumpolar neighbours. It delivers the international dimensions of the four pillars of Canada's integrated Northern Strategy:

  1. Protecting Canada's environmental heritage;
  2. Promoting economic and social development;
  3. Exercising Canada's sovereignty;
  4. Improving and devolving governance.

Canada recognises the importance of addressing these issues through the Arctic Council, other multilateral institutions and its bilateral partnerships. Established in Ottawa in 1996, the Arctic Council is a high-level forum created to advance circumpolar cooperation. Canada was the first Chair, to 1998, and will assume chairmanship again in 2013. Member states are Canada, Iceland, Norway, Russia, the United States and 3 EU Member States: Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Canada and the EU – working together

At their Summit in Quebec City in October 2008, Canadian and EU Leaders reiterated their shared interest and objectives for the Arctic and the North, which include, among others, protecting the environment and ensuring that Northerners can contribute to economic and social development in the region now and in future generations. They recognized and reiterated the importance of, and the global interest in, the international scientific community's research activities. At the 2009 Summit, Leaders agree to maintain a bilateral dialogue and cooperate on Arctic issues, with a focus on research and the concerns and interests of Arctic peoples and communities.

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