Monday, 26 January 2009

Åland: Lisbon Treaty

If deliberation is part of democracy, the Åland Parliament belongs to a European regional master class. Thirteen months have passed since the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon, nine months since the President of Finland Tarja Halonen formally proposed approval of the amending treaty to the regional parliament.

The Finnish Parliament approved the Lisbon Treaty in June 2008, and the ratification instrument has been deposited in Rome. Even latecomer Sweden has managed to ratify the new EU treaties.

In other words, if the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, it will bind Finland and neighbouring Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark, but it is still unclear if it will apply to Åland in between (to the extent that questions are within the remit of the autonomy).

In the Åland Islands the matter remains at the committee stage. No committee report has been published and it is impossible to get an answer as to when this might happen or when the plenary might make a decision either for or against approval of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ten out of thirty local legislators are enough for a negative outcome, which would lead to a highly interesting situation.


Gibraltar seems to be in the same category. I have been unable to uncover information about if and when the local Parliament might deal with the Lisbon Treaty, but I would be grateful if someone has information to offer the readers of this blog.

In the member state league, the Czech Council Presidency, Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the Irish voters are still among the political stumbling blocks, whereas the German Constitutional Court has at least announced two days for hearings a fortnight from now.


The unanimous conclusion and ratification of treaties has proven to be highly rewarding for obstructionists. They have created a Europe in their image.

Ralf Grahn