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Finnish islands cause headache for EU treaty approval - EUobserver

The Finnish autonomous Aland Islands are causing headaches for the Finnish government by demanding certain concessions from Helsinki in return for ratifying the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

The local government in the capital Mariehamn has said it will ratify the bloc's latest institutional rule book only if it gets the nod for four demands, with the vote in the Aland 30-member strong parliament expected in the autumn.

The 27,000 Alanders have had their own flag since 1954

The minister responsible for the islands, former MEP Astrid Thors, visited Aland on Monday (11 August) but only offered some good news on one of the demands - Aland will get some sort of speaking rights within the EU.

She did not offer any concessions on Aland's request for a seat in the European Parliament or participation in the council of ministers' work (where EU member states are represented) on a role in controlling "subsidiarity," the EU principle that power should, where possible, be used a local levels.

by Fran on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:20:04 PM EST
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