Decisions at all levels in the Arctic Council are the exclusive right and responsibility of the eight Arctic States with the involvement of the Permanent Participants.
At the 2013 Kiruna Ministerial Meeting an Arctic Council Observer Manual was formally adopted.
Barrow Ministerial meeting, 2000
Iqaluit Ministerial meeting, 1998
Kiruna Ministerial meeting, 2013
Salekhard Ministerial meeting, 2006
Fairbanks Ministerial meeting, 2017
Rovaniemi Ministerial meeting, 2019
Reykjavik Ministerial meeting, 2004
Fairbanks Ministerial, 2017
Inari Ministerial meeting 2002
Reykjavik Ministerial meeting, 2004 (as: Arctic Circumpolar Route)
Inari Ministerial meeting, 2002
At the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting in 2013, the Arctic Council “receive[d] the application of the EU for Observer status affirmatively”, but deferred a final decision. Until such time as Ministers of the Arctic States may reach a final decision, the EU may observe Council proceedings.
As set out in the Declaration on the Establishment of the Arctic Council and governed by the Arctic Council Rules of Procedure, observer status in the Arctic Council is open to non-Arctic States; inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary organizations, global and regional; and non-governmental organizations that the Council determines can contribute to its work.
In the determination by the Council of the general suitability of an applicant for observer status the Council will, inter alia, take into account the extent to which observers: