If Iceland joins the European Union, the EU will strengthen its influence in the Arctic and could be granted permanent observer status at the Arctic Council. The European Union`s Northern Dimension policy, introduced in the late 1990s, aimed to address issues relating to Western Russia and to strengthen overall cooperation between the EU, Iceland and Norway. Since then, it has become a multilateral and equal partnership between the EU, Iceland, Norway and Russia. Canada and the United States are observers of the partnership. Three members of the Nordic Council joined the EU (Denmark in 1973 and Sweden and Finland in 1995). The European Union`s request to become a “permanent observer” at the Arctic Council was blocked by Canada in 2009 in response to the European Union`s ban on the import of seal products.  On three occasions, Arctic states have negotiated legally binding agreements under the auspices of the Arctic Council. . . .