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Nordic (Minority) Autonomies and Territorial Management in Europe: Empowerment through Regionalisation?

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The participation of traditional minority autonomies is seldom discussed in relation to territorial management in Europe. Yet, several traditional minorities and indigenous people enjoying autonomous powers participate in regional co-operation efforts. This article discusses the involvement of Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands in the development and co-operation of macro-regions. Regional co-operation has long been a corner stone of Europe’s integration project, and macro-regions is the latest concept in the effort to strengthen regions economically in the wake of the onset of globalisation and indeed global economic crises. In contradistinction to the perceived notion of traditional minorities as conflict prone troublemakers, it is argued that in the effort to maintain the peace and overcome persistent challenges common to both majorities and minorities, traditional minorities are increasingly pro-active and working for the survival of their autonomous regions. This is manifested, among other, in the manner in which they participate – albeit unevenly – in regional co-operation aimed at economic development and integration.

Affiliations: 1: Director, European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg, Germany


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