Autonomy and demilitarisation

Åland is an autonomous and demilitarised region of Finland. The autonomy and demilitarisation makes Åland unique in this part of the world

The Autonomy

Åland’s autonomy gives it the right to pass laws in areas relating to the internal affairs of the region and to exercise its own budgetary power. Åland’s legislature, its “parliament”, is known as lagtinget. The Parliament appoints the regional Åland Government, landskapsregeringen.

Åland’s autonomy is regulated by the Act on the Autonomy of Åland passed by the Parliament of Finland. An amendment of the Autonomy Act must follow the same legislative procedure as constitutional amendment but requires the consent of the Parliament of Åland. The division of power between Åland and Finland can thus only be changed on a consensual basis. The current Autonomy Act, the third in line, entered into force on 1 January 1993.

The Demilitarisation

Åland is demilitarised. This means that there may be no military presence here and that the Islands may not be fortified. Åland is also neutralised, and must therefore be kept outside the theatre of war in case of conflict.

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