Society

Who Do the Aland Islands Belong To?

The Aland Islands are autonomous islands located in the Baltic Sea.

Aland Islands

Aland Island is part of the Finland sovereignty by virtue of a decision made by the League of Nations in 1921. It has a population of 26,000 inhabitants, most of whom the world considers to be Swedish. However, the islanders consider themselves Alanders and not Finnish nor Swedish. In fact, they have been negotiating representation in the European Parliament, a move not augured well with Finland. The international interest in this island is in its autonomous state which has led to the protection of the minority inhabiting it.

Autonomy of the Aland Islands

The League of Nations allowed Aland Island to run its government operations which led to the formation of Aland Parliament under the principles of parliamentarism. The island was also granted the right to advance its own language, have a national flag, and have its own postal stamps. Through the Parliament, the Alanders have been seeking representation at European Parliament. However, Finland has had an issue in forwarding this request to the house. Aland Island has a population of 26,000 but there is a requirement of one parliament to represent 400,000 people, hence the Alanders being considered a minority.

Demilitarization

In 1921, the League of Nations stated that the Aland Islands was to be demilitarized. This meant that al military forces would be withdrawn from the island for as long as the island was in peace. However, in the 1930s, the Swedish government displayed great disrespect for the demilitarized status of Aland Island. This action led to the fading away of the Alanders’ initial desire to be part of the Swedish government and they became more comfortable with their position as the autonomous part of Finland. Currently, the island does not have military weapons or armies on the land and they enjoy a demilitarized state. Aland Island is also a neutral state.

What Country are the Aland Islands In?

There seems to be little cooperation from the Finland government to get representation for the Aland Islands at the European Parliament. The government of Finland will continue to represent the Alanders’ views to the Parliament. This is in spite of strong objections by the inhabitants of the island. Currently, the Finland government does not have enough representation for itself so the Aland islanders have to exercise patience with the government as they look at ways to amicably resolve the issue. However, Aland Island is still recognized by the international community as part of Finland. The arrangement between Finland and Aland Island interests the world since it has potential to resolve many conflicts including Nagorno-Karabakh, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, and Zanzibar among others. Aland Island is considered to be a demonstration of a compromise that can be reached between independence and total integration. The island stands a greater chance at independence by writing its own constitution. Coupled with the clearly defined geographical boundaries, Parliament, and symbols such as its own flag, Aland Island is on its way to self-determination and ultimately independence.

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