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Greenland, the Faroes and Åland in Nordic and European Co-operation – Two Approaches towards Accommodating Autonomies

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This article looks at the perplexing encounter between territorial autonomies and international organizations by exploring the legal-institutional frameworks for accommodating Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands within the Nordic Council/Nordic Council of Ministers (Norden) and the European Union (EU). In Norden an attempt has been made to translate the very core of autonomy, namely constitutionally protected legislative power, into a legal-institutional framework for multi-level governance. The small number of autonomies and the scope and scale of Norden allows for a one-size-fits-all solution. The encounter between autonomies and an international organization is not only more challenging in the case of the EU, it is also broader in scale and in scope. Despite the EU’s individually and often densely regulated relationships with OCTs and sui generis arrangements, dependent territories remain to some extent uncharted territories in the context of the EU.

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral candidate, Public International Law, Åbo Akademi University, Finland; Project Officer, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities


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