The Arctic Council: Policy Recommendations and National Implementation

FNI Report 7/2016. Lysaker, FNI, 2016, 27 p.

The Arctic Council has been widely criticized for its lack of legal bindingness and, consequently, the assumed low level of implementation among member states. This report investigates the extent to which Norway follows up the Council’s soft-law recommendations – three from the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and three from the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA). This report also examines certain characteristics of the recommendations – their precision, monitoring of state behaviour and stakeholder involvement – and whether they affect Norway’s implementation outcomes. We conclude that Norwegian authorities have implemented several of the recommendations studied, and that these characteristics have importance. However, what appears most decisive is the nature of the problem – whether the issue-area in question is malignant or not.