Despite the different definitions (link to definition) existing for the Arctic, 8 are considered
“Arctic States”. These are: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States. This means that their territories, or part of their territory fall within the Arctic Circle. The eight Arctic States participate as member countries to the Arctic Council, the main high-level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the indigenous communities.
The eight Arctic states play obviously a key role in the management of the Arctic region.
This role can be understood on two levels: by their individual policies toward the region, that is to say , their national Arctic Policies, which defined national priorities and policy objectives in the Arctic, and by their cooperation with other countries and entities.