Greenland is an Overseas Country and Territory (OCT) associated with the European Union through Denmark. It is a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark with a population of 56 609 (2023). With some 2.166 million km², Greenland is the world's largest island located in the Arctic. Fisheries and fishing industries vastly dominate exports.
Traditionally, the cornerstone of the EU’s partnership with Greenland since 2007 is, besides sustainable fisheries, the support to the education sector, as a skilled workforce is a pre-requisite for sustainable growth.
The EU and Greenland are now broadening cooperation to the area of green growth with support to renewable energy (especially Power-to-X applications, such as hydrogen production), to biodiversity protection, research coordination as well as to critical raw materials (CRM). CRM are necessary for the Green Transition and becoming increasingly important, both for the EU’s supply chains security and Greenland’s economic aspirations. The EU stands ready to support an environmentally friendly development of the raw materials value chains in Greenland, such as through technical assistance to government authorities. A memorandum of understanding on critical raw materials between the EU and Greenland is currently under negotiation.
The EU’s budget support to education has helped to improve pre-school attendance (rising from 65% to 76% in the past 12 years), raise the overall education level (up to 54.2% with qualifications above lower secondary) and push for reforms (e.g., social guidance, coordination with municipalities, public finance management). Upstarting support to sustainable economic development will build on that progress.
The DOAG foresees a financial envelop of EUR 225 million for Greenland (90% for education and 10% for Green Growth).
OCTs are eligible to other EU funding programmes, as a matter of principle, such as Invest EU, Horizon Europe, and Erasmus+. They can also benefit from the thematic part and rapid response actions of the NDICI as well from the Humanitarian Aid Instrument.
Greenland will also be eligible for the DOAG’s dedicated intra-regional envelop for all OCTs and for the period 2021-2027 (EUR 15 million). Intraregional cooperation is a vital aspect of the EU's approach to OCTs, as it promotes closer ties and collaboration notably with neighbouring countries, outermost regions, and regional organisations through pilot actions.
Finally, youth from Greenland are participating in the OCT-Youth Network which aims to increase the ties between young people living in OCTs and the European Union and enhance the knowledge and involvement of young people in the EU-OCT partnership.