In the decade since they voted to join the European Union the islanders of the Aland archipelago in the Baltic Sea have been outvoted and overruled by Brussels, time and again.
Now Aland, a unique, autonomous region of Finland, is about to teach Brussels a lesson in democracy it may never forget.
Thanks to a quirk of early 20th-century history, Aland's 26,000 people are essentially sovereign co-rulers of their home nation of Finland. As such, they can veto any international treaty that Finland wants to enter, including EU treaties.
And the islanders are threatening to do just that when the European Commission attempts to revive the moribund EU constitution later this year.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Huzzah for the Alanders...
Overtones of Passport to Pimlico in this story from the Telegraph. The future of the (worrying) EU Treaty may be sealed by a little Finnish archipelago: