Andreas Raspotnik

Marie Curie EXACT Researcher

Andreas Raspotnik holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master’s degree (Mag. Phil) in Political Science from the University of Vienna, Austria. He absolved his second Master’s degree in International Law (LL.M in Law of the Sea) at the University of Tromsø, Norway. During his studies, Andreas gained relevant work experience as an Editorial Assistant at the Department for International News at the Austrian Broadcasting Cooperation ORF and interned at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin. After graduation from the University of Vienna, he also worked for an Austrian MEP at the European Parliament, focusing on domestic security and data protection and budgetary control.
Participating in the Marie Curie ITN on EU External Action (EXACT) since October 2011, Andreas’ dissertation discusses the European Union’s role and engagement in the Arctic region.
His research interests additionally include the regional interrelation of security, energy and environmental/climate policy, the law of the sea and Norway as an Arctic actor.
Andreas regularly contributes to The Arctic Institute, an interdisciplinary and independent source for information and in-depth analysis about the developments in the Arctic region.

You can contact Andreas Raspotnik

European Parliament’s Study on the Maritime Dimension of CSDP: Geostrategic Maritime Challenges and their Implications for the European Union

Cover websiteThe global maritime security environment is in the midst of an important transformation, driven by a simultaneous intensification of global maritime flows, the growing interconnectedness of maritime regions, the diffusion of maritime power to emerging powers, and the rise of a number of maritime non-state actors. These changes are having a profound impact on the maritime security environment of the EU and its member states and require an upgrading of the maritime dimension of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This study analysis the impact that the changing maritime security context is having on the EU’s maritime neighbourhood and along the EU’s sea lines of communications (SLOCs) and takes stock of the EU’s existing policies and instruments in the maritime security domain. Based on this analysis, the study suggests that the EU requires a comprehensive maritime security strategy that creates synergies between the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy and the maritime dimension of CSDP and that focuses more comprehensively on the security and management of global maritime flows and sea-based activities in the global maritime commons.

New Research Centre: Centre for Arctic Policy Studies, under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland

IIA-CENTRE-FOR-ARCTIC-POLICI-ENSThe Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) is an independent research centre now being established under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland. CAPS will be a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of arctic research with emphasis on the role and policies of states and institutions, and general issues of Arctic governance. The role of CAPS will be:

1. to participate in research projects with Icelandic and foreign academics
2. to increase collaboration between academia and the private and public sectors, and to introduce new research in this field
3. to offer conferences, seminars, lectures and courses on Arctic issues
4. to publish papers and books on Arctic issues
5. to carry out services projects for the private and public sector
6. to support teaching in the field of Arctic studies

The Institute is currently searching for a Director for the new research centre.

Strategy Papers on the Arctic or High North: A Comparative study, by A. JK Bailes, L. Heininen, IIA-CSSS

The future of the Arctic, as its ice melts by land and sea, has become a hot topic in governmental as well as academic and media circles. Over the last decade, each of the eight countries that founded the Arctic Council – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the USA – has published at least one major policy document on the topic, as has the European Union as an institution. Often called Arctic ‘strategies’, these documents address a wide range of issues in the economic, environmental, and institutional fields as well as more basic issues of safety and sovereignty. This publication Strategy Papers on the Arctic or High North: A Comparative study and Analysis by Alyson JK Bailes, Adjunct Professor at the University of Iceland, and Lassi Heininen, Assistant Professor at the University in Rovaniemi, is also available in hard copy at the institute.

pic Iceland artctic

China in the ‘Great White North’: Explaining China’s politics in the Arctic by Andreas Raspotnik and Malte Humpert, Long-Post European Geostrategy (edited by James Rogers and Luis Simón), August 17, 2012

Today, European Geostrategy publishes its second Long Post, which is co-authored by Malte Humpert and Andreas Raspotnik, who are the Executive Director of the Arctic Institute and a research fellow at the University of Cologne (EXACT Marie Curie ITN), respectively. This Long Post deals with Chinese penetration of the Arctic space, which the authors argue is fuelled less by economic concerns than by geopolitical calculations. They assert that Beijing’s interest in the ‘High North’ – particularly the European dimension – is leading to increased Chinese influence in Northern Europe, the consequences of which are still largely unknown.

Please click here to read the entire article.

Further Steps Towards a Comprehensive EU Arctic Policy: Is the EU Getting There? by Andreas Raspotnik, Article for The Arctic Institute (co-authored with Kathrin Keil); July 5, 2012

The European Commission and the High Representative have recently issued the EU’s up-to-date Joint Communication on the development of a coherent and comprehensive EU policy towards the Arctic region. The article offers a spot-on analysis of the EU’s northern approach concluding that the EU’s Arctic engagement still lacks substantial consistency.

The article can be downloaded here

Past Events at the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland – Winter 2013/14


The Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland, in cooperation with the Centre for Small State Studies and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies, organised several open seminars in January. These included:

On 24 January 2014 a conference focusing on the work and legacy of Nelson Mandela. Speakers of the conference included Sigríður Dúna Kristmundsdóttir, Professor of Anthropology, University of Iceland and Iceland’s former Ambassador til South Africa and Arnfríður Guðmundsdóttir, Professor of Theology, University of Iceland.

On 14 January 2014 the topic of the seminar was “Why the Arctic Matters? Prospects of Development”. The main speaker was Natalia Loukacheva, the first Visiting Nansen Professor of Arctic Studies, University of Akureyri, and currently Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Governance and Law, University of Northern British Columbia.

On 16 January 2014 the topic of the seminar was “The Arab Spring: No hope left?” The main speaker of the seminar was Magnús Þorkell Bernharðsson, Professor of History, Williams College.

Past events at the Institute of International Affairs (IIA), University of Iceland – Autumn 2014

IIA Iceland

Second Trans Arctic Agenda high-level seminar
October 28-29 2014

The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland (CAPS) hosted a high-level seminar on Arctic issues on October 28-29 2014 in Reykjavík. This is the second year that the Trans Arctic Agenda seminar is held in Reykjavík. The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies was launched at ticlhis seminar in 2013. It is run under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland. This year the Trans Arctic Agenda conference focused on the governance and management of the Arctic region following the Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna of 2013.

H.E. Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, and Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, the Rector of the University of Iceland, opened the conference.

The background to the conference lies in the rapid changes that climate change and increased international attention is bringing to the circumpolar region. These changes offer new opportunities for resource exploitation, human settlement and travel, but will also disrupt the present natural conditions and living environment for all concerned in the High North. Prudent, cooperative and sustainable handling of the challenges involved will be crucial for gleaning as much as possible from the positive effects of change while minimizing the potential damage.

This year the seminar focused on the following six themes:

1)   Arctic and Foreign Policies of the Arctic States

All the eight member states of the Arctic Council have published their Arctic policies, some even their revised policies. Even though all the policies promote circumpolar cooperation, and there is every reason to be optimistic in those terms, the eight states are a diverse group. They differ in terms of size, population, perception and capacity, their status in the region and foreign policies. This panel will discuss foreign- and Arctic policies of the eight Arctic states, looking to answer questions such as what are the main priorities in the foreign policies of the states? Is the Arctic a real priority? How are Arctic matters handled within each state and what actors influence the policy? How do domestic politics influence the foreign and Arctic policies?

Among speakers were:  Asle Toje, Research Director, The Nobel Institute; Michael T. Corgan, Associate Professor of International Relations, Boston University and CAPS Visiting Scholar;  Joël Plouffe,  Researcher Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and Managing Editor Arctic Yearbook; Lassi Heininen, Professor, Univeristy of Lapland, Editor of Arctic Yearbook;   Jakub M. Godzimirski, Research Professor, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Iceland; Alexander Hviid, Royal Danish Defence College.

Chair: Alyson JK Bailes, Adjunct Lecturer, Universtiy of Iceland.

2)   Arctic Council observers, the “Near-Arctic” and the High North

The High North is attracting attention from all over the globe and many different actors have expressed their interest in the region and applied for observer ship in the Arctic Council. In the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Kiruna 2013 many applicants were granted such observer ship. A majority of the new observer states are Asian, which are China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore. This panel will focus first and foremost on the new Asian observer states and what their new status entails for them. What roles and responsibilities are there for observer states and how can they best influence decision-making and make sure that their voice is heard?

Among speakers are: Jesse Hastings, Lecturer, National University of Singapore and CAPS Visiting Scholar; Marc Lanteigne, Senior Researcher (Asia) at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and CAPS Visiting Scholar;  Malgorzata Smieszek, Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland; Philip E. Steinberg, Professor, Durham University, Ingrid A. Medby, Doctoral Researcher, Durham University and Johanne M. Bruun, Doctoral Researcher, Durham University; Adam Stepien, Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland; Caroline Kennedy, Professor, University of Hull and Admiral Nick Lambert, master mariner and former British National Hydrographer; Johannes Riber Nordby, Analyst, Royal Danish Defence College; Michal Luszczuk, Post-dodtoral fellow, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce.

Chair: Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland, Editor of Arctic Yearbook

3)   The West Nordic region

West Nordic cooperation has taken significant steps in the past few years, with the West Nordic Council establishing itself as a significant platform for West Nordic political cooperation, as well as building on more traditional cultural ties and mutual economic interests. This panel will focus on the challenges and opportunities the West Nordic region faces in the coming years such as the Arctic’s rising geo-economic and strategic importance and challenges due to climate change. Will West Nordic cooperation be successful in shaping the Arctic’s future? What constitutes the “region” and is there such a thing as West Nordic identity? Will there be a joint West Nordic Arctic strategy? Can the small West Nordic nations increase their influence on the Arctic developments through enhanced cooperation and how will it influence wider Nordic cooperation, the Arctic Council and other fora? 

Among speakers are: Maria Ackrén, Associate Professor, University of Greenland;  Rasmus Gjeldssø Bertelsen, Assistant Professor, Aalborg University; Egill Þór Níelsson, Visiting Scholar, Polar Research Institute of China; Beinta í Jakubsstovu, University of the Faroe Islands.

Chair: Auður H Ingólfsdóttir, Assistant Professor, Bifröst University.

4)  Polar Code and Law of the Sea

The panel will address a few contemporary issues concerning the international law of the sea that is of relevance for the Arctic such as navigation, maritime boundary delimitations, the extended continental shelf and fisheries. One of the issues that will be dealt with is the Polar Code which the IMO has been developing. It is a draft mandatory International Code of safety for ships operating in polar waters, to cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles. Another issue that will be addressed is Canada’s submission of preliminary information to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf concerning the outer limits of the continental shelf of Canada in the Arctic Ocean.

Among speakers are Coalter G. Lathrop, Lecturing Fellow, Duke Universtiy;  Erik Røsæg, Professor, University of Oslo; Bjarni Már Magnússon, Assistant Professor,  University of Reykjavik.

Chair: Helgi Áss Grétarsson, Associate Professor, University of Iceland. 

5)  The balance between business developments and environmental protection in the Arctic

The Arctic is already highly globalized and influences by market forces and geopolitics have become apparent. Different actors, state, non-state and corporate have declared interest in the region or even invested in some sort of business developments. While no one owns the Arctic, it is necessary to make sure that it is governed and managed in a responsible sustainable manner, with balance between business adventures and nature preservation. This panel looks at the interplay between different actors promoting different, and sometimes not compatible, interests. Furthermore, it seeks to answer such questions as who is responsible if something goes wrong, how will the responsibility be divided between private and public actors and how can those with indirect interests voice their concerns to make sure their interests are taken account off?

Among speakers are: Georg Lárusson, Director General of the Icelandic Coastguard; Amy L. Lovecraft, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Stephen Macko, Professor, University of Virginia.

Chair: Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, Professor, University of Iceland.

6)  North American leadership in the Arctic Council

This panel focuses on the North American leadership in the Arctic Council. First of all it looks at Canada’s leadership, that is coming to its end and secondly it discusses what to expect from the US leadership, starting in 2015. The Canadian and US priorities will be explored as well as their Arctic awareness. The aim is to shed light on issues such as differences in leadership style, Arctic identity and approaches to intergovernmental cooperation and policy priorities.

Among speakers: Steven Lamy, Professor of International Relations, USC University of Southern California, Heather Exner-Pirot, stragetist, Universty of Saskatchewan and Managing Editor Arctic Yearbook; Michael Byers, Professor, University of British Columbia; Harry Bader, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Chair: Anna Karlsdóttir, Assistant Professor, University of Iceland.

The programme for the seminar can be accessed here.

Seminar on the case of Catalonia
20 October 2014

The Centre for Small State Studies (CSSS), which is run under the auspices of the Institute of International Affairs, hosted an open seminar titled “New Emerging Small States in Europe? The Case of Catalonia” oniceland October 20. The seminar was hosted in cooperation with the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), which is a public-private partnership designed to foster dialogue and build relationships between the citizens of Catalonia and the rest of the world. The seminar was live-streamed via the CSSS website. More information concerning the seminar can be found here.