Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aaland...Dave's last hope? Perhaps.

In probably its final act of defiance, the Czech Constitutional Court yesterday impudently ignored the fact of this week's key EU Summit and adjourned a hearing on whether the Lisbon treaty violates the constitution until November 3. But in all likelihood they'll be giving it a grudgung thumbs up.

Which just leaves Aaland Islands giving David Cameron and the Conservatives a lifeline (or not, if you want to be cynical about his original motives in offering the UK a referendum).

And just to prove I wasn't hallucinating when I first mentioned their possible "opting out" from Lisbon:
HELSINKI (AFP) - Finland's Swedish-speaking autonomous Aaland Islands in the Baltic Sea are due to vote on the Lisbon Treaty later this year, with the outcome seen as uncertain and a No vote likely to land Helsinki in a quagmire.

Although Finland ratified the Lisbon Treaty in September 2008, the Åland Islands, located between mainland Finland and Sweden and home to 27,000 people, have to approve it by a two-thirds majority in their 30-member parliament to endorse it.

A number of MPs have threatened to vote against the treaty unless their demands are met by Helsinki.

Nobody in Finland seems to know what would happen if the Lisbon Treaty was ratified by all 27 EU member states, but not by Åland.

You'd think it would mean, despite the size of the place, that it couldn't be ratified...
Any decision by Helsinki to ignore an Åland No would most certainly be perceived as undemocratic at home.
But, surprise, surprise, that's not a perception shared by the Eurocrats:
In Brussels, the matter does not appear to be causing too much worry.

"It's an internal problem for Finland" to sort out, one EU diplomat said.

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