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Soft Law: Forms of Cooperation in the Arctic- The Barents Regional Council

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  1. Introduction
  2. From a region fraught with tension during cold war to a soft law cooperation area
  3. The regional cooperation in the barents euro arctic region : a key role in understanding the specific local issues
  4. Conclusion

The Arctic area represents one of the best example of regional cooperation between States despite the main issues surrounding that part of the world. However, the Arctic defined as the northernmost ocean covered by ice of the Earth used to be a tension region during the cold war. Indeed, the United States, the URSS and other European states were interested by the strategical position of the Arctic and the abundant resources present in this territory . Nevertheless, the post-cold war era has encouraged the different international actors to go forward to a deeper regional cooperation in order to maintain a sustainable stability, strengthen the relationship between states to promote political and economic alliances without denigrate the regional identity and cultural diversity of each region.

In this context, many institutions has emerged in the Arctic area such as the Arctic council founded in 1996 composed of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, United States which deal with environmental, political, economical issues as a intergovernmental level. Considering the large scope of issues surrounding the Arctic area, it is undoubtedly necessary to divide the action of the States by different work groups associated to a specific field. Moreover, the cooperation in the Arctic is not only represented by the Arctic Council.

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