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The European Union and the Legal Protection of Marine Biodiversity in the Arctic (Euro-Arctic LaB)
Start date: Sep 1, 2013, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The current laws for the protection of marine biodiversity in the Arctic are weak and fragmented and are insufficient to ensure the implementation of an ecosystems approach, which is necessary for the preservation of biodiversity (CoP Biodiversity Convention, 2000 and 2002). The Euro-Arctic LaB project will establish what powers the European Union (EU) has to pursue its stated objective of protecting marine biodiversity in the Arctic (COM (2008) 763 final; JOIN (2012) 19 final) and will establish how the EU can best use these powers to help generate an effective legal system for the protection of marine biodiversity in the Arctic. The project’s aims will be met through establishing a) the extent to which the EU has competence to shape the development of international law on the protection of marine biodiversity in the Arctic and b) the best route to pursuing the development of international law. During the past 4 years, the European Commission (COM (2008) 763 final), the Council of the European Union (Council conclusions on Arctic issues, 8 Dec 2009), the European Parliament (2009/2214 (INI)) and the High Representative have declared that the EU will be more engaged in Arctic issues. There is however a lack of literature that thoroughly assesses the EU’s current and potential action. This project is therefore appropriate to examine the EU’s competence and practice. It will also provide insights on the effectiveness of the EU’s action at the international and regional levels. The completion of this project will contribute to the preservation of Arctic marine biodiversity for its intrinsic worth and also for the many ecosystem services it provides including supporting sustainable fisheries as well as leaving the resources in place for future scientific study and potential use in pharmaceuticals and other industries. The findings will also help illuminate the development of EU international policy more generally.
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