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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement30 January 2024Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

From urban cooperation to youth collaboration: exciting news from the Arctic

Tromsø, Norway

Collaboration and cooperation are key values in the EU’s Arctic policy.

Every year, the EU holds the EU Arctic Forum and Indigenous People’s Dialogue – which this year will take place on 14 and 15 May 2024 in Brussels. Two days dedicated to bringing people together, encouraging synergies and exchanges.

This Tuesday 30 January 2024, the EU is launching two new initiatives consolidating this cooperative spirit!

1. Youth Together for Arctic Futures

Launch of the Youth Together for Arctic Futures at the Arctic Frontier 2024

The project "Youth Together for Arctic Futures" aims to empower both Arctic and European youth by giving them the tools and connections needed to advocate for a sustainable and prosperous Arctic future.

Over a four-year period, the project will provide knowledge, skills, and opportunities to engage in climate and nature policy implementation in the Arctic, with a focus on including underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous Peoples, and minorities.

By fostering collaboration between Arctic and European youth, the project seeks to bridge gaps, exchange ideas, and find solutions to common challenges, while also giving European youth insights into Arctic-specific issues.

Key components include:

  • the establishment of an EU-Arctic Youth Dialogue that will become a part of the EU’s flagship events on the Arctic,
  • the Youth Board of the Arctic and European youth to steer the project,
  • the production of a State of the Arctic Youth Report for policy formulation.

Additional activities include mentorship programs, policy-making crash courses, and youth-led media and arts productions.

2. The Arctic Urban-Regional Cooperation (AURC) Programme

Nuuk, Greenland

The Arctic Urban-Regional Cooperation (AURC) programme, funded by the European Union, brings together 15 local authorities from Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and USA, to address common challenges collaboratively.

“The EU is helping to bridge a gap, fostering Arctic urban cooperation”, announced Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission, at the Arctic Futures Symposium in Brussels, November 2023, where the new initiative was introduced.

In line with the 2021 Joint Communication on a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic, the AURC focuses on promoting inclusive and sustainable development in the Arctic, particularly benefitting Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth, while also investing in future-oriented jobs and the blue economy.

By facilitating knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning among participating cities, it aims to develop tailored and effective solutions to address the unique needs of Arctic regions - from developing a more sustainable tourism model to attracting and retaining talent.


The Arctic Urban-Regional Cooperation (AURC) Programme is funded by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, working in close cooperation with the European External Action Service, the diplomatic wing of the EU, and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Youth Together for Arctic Futures is funded by the European Union. The project is led by the WWF Global Arctic Programme, in cooperation with organisations that bring decades of experience in youth empowerment, policy shaping, and research and conservation of Arctic ecosystems and livelihoods: Arctic Youth Network, European Youth Parliament (Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa) and its Norway Alumni Association, Saami Council, Arctic Mayors’ Forum, Tromsø commune, University of Tromsø, and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists. The project is supported by the Norwegian Arctic Council chairship, WWF Greenland, and Arctic Frontiers as associates. 

EU Arctic Policy

EU Arctic Forum and Indigenous People’s Dialogue

Joint Communication on a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic


Publication date
30 January 2024
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries