Greenland to Take On More Prominent Role in Arctic Council Talks

Greenland will in the future take on a more prominent role in Arctic Council talks after Denmark agreed to let the island territory be the key signatory representing the Kingdom.

“We specifically discussed who would speak first in representing the Kingdom of Denmark, and the mutual agreement is that it should be Greenland, then the Faroe Islands and then Denmark,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday, after talks with her counterparts from the two territories.

The agreement marks an historic step toward greater autonomy for Greenland, which has been wooed by both the U.S. and China due to its geographic importance and because of its vast stores of rare-earth elements. Greenland enjoys home rule, but is legally bound to leave matters relating to foreign and defense policy to the Danish government.

Thursday’s agreement comes not long after a general election in Greenland, which gave power to 34-year-old Mute Bourup Egede and his socialist IA party. The new government has argued in favor of demilitarization for Greenland and last week rejected a 1.5 billion kroner ($246 million) deal struck by the Danish parliament to boost defense spending in the Arctic region.

Meanwhile, tensions between Denmark and Greenland have been on the rise. On Sunday, The island’s foreign minister, Pele Broberg, told Danish broadcaster TV2 that he’s unhappy leaving big decisions on foreign and defense policies to the government in Copenhagen.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.