Participating in international cooperation
Åland has been a member of the Nordic Council since 1970. The Parliament appoints two of the Council's 87 members in total. Only those who are members of the Parliament can be elected members of the Nordic Council. The Ålandic members, together with the representatives of the regional government in the council, form the Åland statutory delegation.
The regional government also participates in the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
When Åland became a member of the Nordic Council, the Council's competence largely coincided with the competence of the region. The area of Nordic co-operation has expanded over the years and now includes, for example, security policy and co-operation in relation to the neighbouring areas of the Nordic region. In this way, the Council has become something of a foreign policy platform for Åland.
BSPC – The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference
The BSPC was established in 1991 as a forum where the various parliaments of the Baltic Sea Region meet in a dialogue on current political issues affecting the region. The Parliament appoints the delegation to the BSPC and the Chairperson of the Delegation, who also represents the Parliament in the standing committee.
The BSPC consists of parliamentarians from eleven national parliaments, eleven regional parliaments, and five parliamentary organisations from the Baltic Sea Region. BSPC is a forum where both EU countries and countries outside the Union can come together to participate in the political dialogue on issues of interest to the region. In addition, the conference contributes to an increased exchange of information and networking between parliamentarians from all Baltic Sea countries. The conference is held once a year.
The permanent political body of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference is the Standing Committee, whose task is to decide on various strategic issues concerning the organisation's objectives, priorities, working methods, and administration. Åland has a member in the Standing Committee. It is the Standing Committee which, together with the host country, plans and organises the annual conference. The Committee meets at least four times a year and each parliament is represented by one member.
In addition to the Standing Committee, the organisation consists of the Secretariat, one or more working groups, and a number of observers and rapporteurs who focus on various current issues.
The Parliament and the EU
CALRE (Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies) — Meeting of Speakers of the legislative regions of the EU
CALRE is the conference of the Speakers of the 74 regional legislative parliaments of the European Union. The members represent regions in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Italy, the Portuguese regions of the Azores and Madeira, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom and Åland Islands in Finland. The regions have many similar problems and therefore have common interests in the EU. Åland is represented in CALRE by the Speaker.
CALRE has an annual plenary session, which summarises, among other things, common positions on topical issues in a declaration adopted by the plenary session. Working groups with different themes are set up at the same time and a chairperson of the respective working group is appointed from among the Speakers. The work is followed up during the year by the Standing Committee of CALRE, which meets 3 to 4 times during the year and where the Parliament of Åland is always represented. Each working group prepares a report proposing measures presented at the plenary session.
More information about CALRE.
Similar cooperation between the legislative regions is called RegLeg.