Gateway Antarctica: A Route for the EU's Global Political Agenda
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts (Merit)
This thesis endeavours to address an identified gap in literature on the European Union’s (EU) scientific and political engagement in the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). The examination of this engagement begins from the initiation of the EU’s formal participation in the ATS in 1983 as a Party to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) mechanism, through to the EU’s contemporary role in 2011, for the facilitation of European collaborative scientific research on the Antarctic continent that remains under negotiation pending decisions on funding allocations for polar research under the EU Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020).
Particular focus is placed on analysis into the EU’s role in global environmental discourse, for contextualised examination on the hypothesis of this research, which posits that the EU could upgrade its role in the Antarctic to further legitimise a strategic agenda for recognition as a global political actor in international relations. As most of the EU’s participation in the process of Antarctic political deliberation was afforded as an observer to the series of Special Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (SATCM XI-1 to XI-IV) which developed the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991), a significant amount of analysis will focus on EU and Member State involvement in the development of this Protocol. There is also a supplementary exploration of Europeanisation of French foreign policy over this period.
In addition to contributing to the academic literature, recommendations concerning the future of the EU’s scientific and political Antarctic engagement could be used as informative and topical research for a mixed audience of European Union (EU) strategists, policy-makers and officials who are tasked with furthering the development of the EU into a global political actor. It could also be of interest to those people in the Antarctic community who might opportunistically seek to maximise the benefits of an increase in direct and indirect EU participation in the Antarctic, particularly the availability of EU funding for Antarctic scientific research.