The Concept of the Åland Islands’ Regional Citizenship and Its Impact on the Inclusion of Migrants

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Heidi Öst
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This article explores how the minority protection regime affects immigrants in the Åland Islands, focusing on the institution of regional citizenship. Is the inclusion of migrants in the Åland Islands of Finland affected by this institution? The article reviews the historical foundations of the minority protection regime, its legislative development, and contemporary debates surrounding the Åland Islands’ institution of regional citizenship. It argues that the right of domicile of the Åland Islands should not be considered a barrier to inclusion for immigrants although it is in part tied to political rights, as well as to the right to acquire property and trade in the Islands. Contemporary debates on the link between the right of domicile and Finnish citizenship attest to the contested nature of this marginal regional citizenship, which, to the extent it performs an exclusionary function, depends on the construction of national citizenship.

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