Wednesday, 18 November 2009

EU Lisbon Treaty in Aland Islands ─ new step

The home page of the Åland Parliament (Ålands lagting) has been updated with information (in Swedish) telling us that the Legal Committee (Lagutskottet) has fine-tuned its report on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty 15 November 2009:

”Lissabonfördraget Publiceringsdatum 16.11.2009
Lagutskottet justerade på söndagen den 15 november sitt betänkande om Lissabonfördraget. Betänkandet kan du få fram via lagtingets ärendesökning. Klicka på länken "SÖK ÄRENDEN OCH DOKUMENT" på denna sida. Skriv in "Lissabonfördraget" eller bara "Lissabon" som sökord. Välj Repuplikens presidents framställning om Lissabonfördraget....Klicka sedan på Betänkande från lagutskottet.”




The report we find behind the link is dated 12 November 2009, so we cannot be sure about the later changes, but basically the report proposes that Åland approves the Lisbon Treaty. There are then a number of points which require the Åland Government to continue its work to wrest more influence for Åland in Finnish EU affairs and in the European Union, as well as about the demilitarised status of Åland.



On 16 November 2009 the Åland Parliament plenary has tabled the report for debate on 23 November.

Approval of the Lisbon Treaty requires a qualified majority of two thirds of the 30 members in the regional parliament, and the decision concerns the application of the Lisbon Treaty in the Åland Islands, with regard to the areas with autonomous legislation.

The Lisbon Treaty enters into force on 1 December 2009, and it was written on the assumption that it applies to the whole territory of Finland, including the Åland Islands (according to the exemptions contained in the Åland Protocol).

Finland formally ratified the EU Treaty of Lisbon 30 September 2008.


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Åland news and comment

Here are some news items and comments with further information about the Lisbon Treaty in the Åland Islands (all in Swedish).



Ålandstidningen, Kerstin Österman: Lagtinget säger ja till Lissabon (16 November 2009) The final decision will be taken 25 November 2009. The opposing minority is too small to reject approval.



Ålandstidningen (editorial), Niklas Lampi: Ett klokt och genomtänkt ja (17 November 2009) Åland has shown great skill in widening its autonomy, but it is time to make the decision, as the last in Europe, to avoid placing Åland in no man’s land, when the Lisbon Treaty enters into force.


Nya Åland (Nyan.ax), Annika Kullman: Lagutskottet: ja till Lissabonfördraget (17 November 2009) The opposition has only five votes, so the Lisbon Treaty will probably pass. Åland continues to press for an own member of the European Parliament.



Nya Åland (Nyan.ax), Annika Kullman: Åland får inte en av Finlands platser (17 November 2009) Prime minister Matti Vanhanen has stated that the Finnish government is not prepared to give Åland (population 27,000) a member of the European Parliament, when there were 408,000 citizens per MEP in the rest of Finland.

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Mini-states

By the way, one letter to the editor illustrated what in my view is the absurd over-representation of the smallest EU member states: An independent Åland, which became a member state of the European Union, would have six members of the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty. (Cf. minimum threshold in Article 14 TEU)

In a democratic European Union, each citizen would have a vote with (roughly) the same weight.


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Lisbon Treaty ratifications



The Council of the European Union has now updated its web page on the Lisbon Treaty. The notification of the Czech Republic on 13 November 2009 has been noted, so all 27 ratifications have now been formally recorded.




Update 21 November 2009



I happened to find the following characterization of this blog post on Your Freedom and Ours, Helen: Not all in (19 November 2009):


“I very much fear that horrid hectoring bullies of the Ralf Grahn variety will triumph and the defiant Islands will sign up. But I cannot help wishing that they would imitate that little village in Gaul that refused to be conquered by the Romans or to be divided into three parts.”



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I ask my readers to explain to me how my blog post turned me into a horrid hectoring bully.

If my facts were wrong, or my writing offensive, I want to correct the breach of civility.





Ralf Grahn



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