The first part of this article explores the extent to which the European Union (EU) is an actor in the law of the sea. After explaining when, why and how the EU became such an actor, it considers the legal and political constraints on the capacity of the EU to act; the interests that have shaped its role as an actor; and the various means by which it acts. The second part of the article applies the conclusions from this analysis to outline the role that the EU has so far played in the ongoing development of the legal regime of the marine Arctic and to predict the role that it will continue to play, especially as regards navigation, fisheries, the exploitation of offshore oil and gas, and the protection of the environment.
- environmental protection
- European Union
- exploitation of offshore oil and gas