The Arctic region is increasingly marked by geopolitical tensions. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has drastically altered the relationship with the West, prompting Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, thus extending the alliance to seven out of eight Arctic countries. Simultaneously, concerns arise regarding Chinas ‘neutral’ stance in the West-Russia axis and the broader implications for the US-China rivalry for the Arctic. 

February 2022 marks a watershed in European history and has led France to advocate for a closer collaboration between EU and NATO. What are the France’s Arctic security interests? And what role can France play in the dynamics of Arctic geopolitics?  

Through two roundtables, we will first provide an overview of the current geopolitical landscape in the region and its main actors before delving deeper into the present and future role of France in the Arctic. 

Programme: 

13:00 Welcome coffee: 13:30 
14:00 – 15:00 Round table 1: Status of Geopolitics and Cooperation in the Arctic – What has Changed? 

  • Chaired by: Andreas Østhagen (Senior Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen Institute)   
  • Arild Moe (Research Professor, Fridtjof Nansen Institute)   
  • Laurent Mayet  
  • Eda Ayaydin (Teaching Fellow in International Politics, University of London, Paris) 
  • Lise Wiederholt Christensen (PhD Researcher at the University of Copenhagen)  

 Coffee Break: 15:00 – 15:15 

15:15 – 16:15 Round table 2: France, NATO, and the EU Nexus 

  • Chaired by: Julia Tasse   
  • Andreas Raspotnik (Senior Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen Institute) 
  • Alexandre Taithe (Fondation pour la recherche stratégique) 
  • Emilie Canova (PhD candidate, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge) 
  • Magali Vullierme (PostDoc fellow, North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network) 

Closing Remarks: 16:15 – 16:30  The room and coffee will stay available until 17:00 for exchanges and networking. 

Organizers: Fridtjof Nansen Institute and IRIS - Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques.