Sweden in the Arctic Council ? effective return from membership (RiR 2013:9)
Report ID: 208

The Swedish National Audit Office has examined whether Sweden receives an effective return from its membership of the Arctic Council.

The Swedish National Audit Office notes that the Arctic Council is an important forum for issues concerning the Arctic and for initiating central research projects on environmental and climate change in the Arctic. However, the Swedish National Audit Office considers that after almost 20 years of Swedish membership of the Arctic Council it is reasonable to also expect an effective process in Sweden for assessing and, where relevant, implementing Arctic Council recommendations.

This is particularly applicable as decisions in the Arctic Council are made in consensus and are, if not legally, then politically binding. It is also reasonable that Sweden’s work in the Council proceeds from transparent priorities for the Arctic.

The Swedish National Audit Office’s overall conclusion is that Sweden does not receive an effective return in all respects from its membership of the Arctic Council. In the opinion of the Swedish National Audit Office there is insufficient transparency in the Government’s priorities for the work of the Arctic Council. It is therefore difficult to assess whether Sweden’s work in the Arctic Council proceeds from stated priorities. The Government has not ensured that recommendations from the Arctic Council are assessed, ranked in priority and, where relevant, implemented in Sweden. Nor has the Government assigned responsibility for such a process. It is not clear whether the Arctic Council’s recommendations have been implemented in Sweden.