Written by Julien Dalman, Alexandre Delepierre, Camille De Sutter, Gaultier Fort and Alberto Rizzi
The Arctic is rapidly becoming the next frontier for great power competition. Melting icecaps are allowing for the extraction of the rich resources of the area, as well as opening sea routes that could soon be exploited for commercial use. Above all, the North Pole region holds significant strategic value, and this could become even more important in the coming years with the evolution of the global order towards a multipolar system. The power holding the Arctic could gain a crucial advantage over its rivals and that has prompted a race for the North Pole. This paper provides an overview of the Arctic power play, assessing the presence and the objectives of its main characters. Russia, China, Canada, the US and Scandinavian countries are involved in this competition. What is still missing, however, is a comprehensive and integrated EU approach. This prevents Europe from effectively playing a significant role in the area and undermines the position of its Member States.