Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 391

Arctic Yearbook 2014 391   Trans = Transportation Envir = Environment Res = Rescue and search Human = Human dimension Man = Management and governance Ind = Indigenous peoples A further contrast is found between the larger or more influential states (including Norway) that can take their role and voice in Arctic management for granted, and smaller ones (notably Iceland and the Faroes) whose strategy papers focus largely on how to get their views heard. The latter start by stressing their Arctic identity and stakeholdership – see above – but also voice strong support for institutions where even the smallest can participate, and criticize fora where they cannot. The Finnish strategy of 201049 goes particularly far in pushing the EU as a vehicle for Nordic and European engagement. Where does the UK paper lie in this spectrum? It reflects the novel situation of a European observer state that is ‘large’ per se (including in its economic, military and scientific impact on the High North), but has a relatively ‘small’ foothold in formal Arctic governance. The UK’s chosen tactics in this situation seem to be to focus mainly on establishing stakeholdership in practical terms, while commending certain fora (the global ones, AC Observership and NATO) where the UK is present and comfortable, but not attacking the more exclusive groups (the five littoral states). The German document of November 2013 makes very similar choices, albeit playing up the EU role - as already noted – possibly to help make up for Berlin’s greater geographical distance. Balance and Strength Like any published strategy document, the UK paper had to balance between the needs and expectations of different audiences, as well as between the claims of different Arctic challenges. The fact that pro-environment parliamentarians, and also the liberal media,50 found it disappointing cannot have surprised its drafters, but was rather the price for two conscious choices the latter appear to have made. The first was to focus on smoothly inserting the UK into the discourse and practice of Arctic governance as defined by the eight AC states themselves. The second was to select topics where the UK had expertise to offer and a role to play, rather than highlighting such general and altruistic concerns – always liable to irritate certain AC members – as the plight of indigenous peoples or the danger to Arctic wildlife. Such choices would make sense in a