in aN ASYMMETRIC Multi Lateral World
Act on the Autonomy of Aaland, 1991
This is an unofficial translation. The original text in Swedish
16 August 1991/1144 amended 31 December 1994/1556 and 12 July 1996/520
(in Swedish also in Ålands författningssamling 1991/71,1995/6 and 1996/59)
This translation was published in March 1997,
In accordance with the Decision of Parliament, reached in the
manner prescribed in section 67 of the Parliament Act, the following is
enacted with the approval of the Åland Legislative Assembly:
Autonomy of Åland
The Åland Islands are autonomous, as hereby enacted.
Territory of Åland
Åland comprises the territory it has at the time of the entry
into force of this Act and the territorial waters directly adjacent to its
land territory according to the enactments in force on the limits of the
territorial waters of Finland.
If the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the State are extended beyond the
limits of the territorial waters the jurisdiction and sovereignty of Åland
may be likewise extended, as agreed by the State and Åland.
Organs of Åland
The Åland Legislative Assembly shall represent the people of
the Åland Islands in matters relating to its autonomy.
The administration of Åland is vested in the Government of Åland and the
officials subordinate to it.
The Governor shall represent the Government of Finland in Åland.
He shall be appointed in the manner prescribed in section 52.
The Åland Delegation shall be a joint organ of Åland and the
State. Its composition, duties and expenses are as provided by sections 5557.
Right of domicile by virtue of law
The right of domicile in Åland shall belong to
1) a person who at the time of the entry into force of this Act had the right
of domicile under the Autonomy Act for Åland (28 December 1951/670); and
2) a child under 18 years of age who is a citizen of Finland and a resident of
Åland, provided that his father or mother has the right of domicile.
Right of domicile on application
The power to grant the right of domicile is vested in the
Government of Åland.
Unless there are persuasive reasons for not granting the right of domicile, it
shall be granted on application to a citizen of Finland
1) who has taken up residence in Åland;
2) who has without interruption been habitually resident in Åland for at
least five years; and
3) who is satisfactorily proficient in the Swedish language.
For a special reason the right of domicile may also be granted to a person who
does not fulfil the requirements of paragraph 2, subparagraphs 2 and 3,
subject to the provisions of an Act of Åland.
Forfeiture of the right of domicile
A person who forfeits the citizenship of Finland shall
likewise forfeit the right of domicile.
The forfeiture of the right of domicile of a person who moves his permanent
residence from Åland shall be as provided by an Act of Åland.
Participation in elections and eligibility for office
Only a person with the right of domicile may participate in
the elections of the Legislative Assembly, the municipal councils and the
other positions of trust in the Åland and municipal administration. Only a
person with the right of domicile shall be eligible for such positions of
The right to vote and the eligibility for office in certain cases shall be
governed by the provisions of section 67.
Right to acquire real property
The limitations on the right to acquire real property or
property of a similar nature in Åland with full legal title or with the right
to enjoy are as provided by the Act on the Acquisition of Real Property in Åland
(3 January 1975/3). The limitations shall not apply to a person with the right
Right of trade
The right of a person without the right of domicile to
exercise a trade or profession in Åland for personal gain may be limited by
an Act of Åland. However, such an Act of Åland may not be used to limit the
right of trade of a person residing in Åland, if no person other than a
spouse and minor children is employed in the trade and if the trade is not
practiced in business premises, an office or any other special place of
Service of conscription
A person with the right of domicile may in place of
conscription for military service serve in a corresponding manner in the
pilotage or lighthouse services or in other civilian administration.
Service in the pilotage and lighthouse services shall be as provided by a
State Act after the Legislative Assembly has been reserved an opportunity to
submit an opinion on the matter. Service in other civilian administration
shall be provided by a State Act with the consent of the Legislative Assembly.
Until such service has been organised, the residents of Åland referred to in
paragraph 1 shall be exempt from conscription for military service.
Paragraph 1 shall not apply to a person who has taken up residence in Åland
after having reached the age of twelve years.
Legislative Assembly and the Government of Åland
Election of the members of the Legislative Assembly
The members of the Legislative Assembly shall be elected by
direct and secret ballot. The suffrage shall be universal and equal.
Opening and closing the sessions of the Legislative Assembly
The sessions of the Legislative Assembly shall be opened and
closed by the President of the Republic or, on his behalf, by the Governor.
The Governor shall present the proposals and statements of the President to
the Legislative Assembly.
Dissolution of the Legislative Assembly
After consultation with the Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly, the President of the Republic may dissolve the Legislative Assembly
and order an election. The right of the Legislative Assembly to decide on a
dissolution and the ordering of an election shall be provided by an Act of Åland.
Government of Åland
The Government of Åland shall be
appointed as provided by an Act of Åland.
Legislation of Åland
The Legislative Assembly shall enact legislation for Åland (Acts
Legislative authority of Åland
Åland shall have legislative powers in respect of
1) the organisation and duties of the Legislative Assembly and the election of
its members, the Government of Åland and the officials and services
subordinate to it;
2) the officials of Åland, the collective agreements on the salaries of the
employees of Åland and the sentencing of the officials of Åland to
2 a) the employment pensions of the employees of Åland and the elected
representatives in the administration of Åland, as well as of the head
teachers, teachers and temporary teachers in the primary and lower secondary
schools in Åland; (12 July 1996/520)
3) the flag and coat of arms of Åland and the use thereof in Åland, the use
of the Åland flag on vessels of Åland and on merchant vessels,
fishing-vessels, pleasure boats and other comparable vessels whose home port
is in Åland, without limiting the right of State offices and services or of
private persons to use the flag of the State;
4) the municipal boundaries, municipal elections, municipal administration and
the officials of the municipalities, the collective agreements on the salaries
of the officials of the municipalities and the sentencing of the officials of
the municipalities to disciplinary punishment;
5) the additional tax on income for Åland and the provisional extra income
tax, as well as the trade and amusement taxes, the bases of the dues levied
for Åland and the municipal tax;
6) public order and security, with the exceptions as provided by section 27,
subparagraphs 27, 34 and 35; the firefighting and rescue service;
7) building and planning, adjoining properties, housing;
8) the appropriation of real property and of special rights required for
public use in exchange for full compensation, with the exceptions as provided
by section 61;
9) tenancy and rent regulation, lease of land;
10) the protection of nature and the environment, the recreational use of
nature, water law;
11) prehistoric relics and the protection of buildings and artifacts with
cultural and historical value;
12) health care and medical treatment, with the exceptions as provided by
section 27, subparagraphs 24, 29 and 30; burial by cremation;
13) social welfare; licences to serve alcoholic beverages;
14) education, apprenticeship, culture, sport and youth work; the archive,
library and museum service, with the exceptions as provided by section 27,
subparagraph 39; (12 July 1996/520)
15) farming and forestry, the regulation of agricultural production; provided
that the State officials concerned are consulted prior to the enactment of
legislation on the regulation of agricultural production;
16) hunting and fishing, the registration of fishing vessels and the
regulation of the fishing industry;
17) the prevention of cruelty to animals and veterinary care, with the
exceptions as provided by section 27, subparagraphs 3133;
18) the maintenance of the productive capacity of the farmlands, forests and
fishing waters; the duty to transfer, in exchange for full compensation,
unutilised or partially utilised farmland or fishing water into the possession
of another person to be used for these purposes, for a fixed period;
19) the right to prospect for, lay claim to and utilise mineral finds;
20) the postal service and the right to broadcast by radio or cable in Åland,
with the limitations consequential on section 27, subparagraph 4;
21) roads and canals, road traffic, railway traffic, boat traffic, the local
22) trade, subject to the provisions of section 11, section 27, subparagraphs
2, 4, 9, 1215, 1719, 26, 27, 2934, 37 and 40, and section 29, paragraph
1, subparagraphs 35, with the exception that also the Legislative Assembly
has the power to impose measures to foster the trade referred to in the said
23) promotion of employment;
24) statistics on conditions in Åland;
25) the creation of an offence and the extent of the penalty for such an
offence in respect of a matter falling within the legislative competence of Åland;
26) the imposition of a threat of a fine and the implementation thereof, as
well as the use of other means of coercion in respect of a matter falling
within the legislative competence of Åland;
27) other matters deemed to be within the legislative power of Åland in
accordance with the principles underlying this Act.
Supervision of legislation
The decision on the adoption of an Act of Åland shall be
delivered to the Ministry of Justice and to the Åland Delegation; the latter
shall give its opinion to the former before the decision is presented to the
President of the Republic. (31 December 1994/1556)
After having obtained an opinion from the Supreme Court the President of the
Republic may order the Act of Åland annulled in full or in part, if he
considers that the Legislative Assembly has exceeded its legislative powers or
that the Act of Åland relates to the internal or external security of the
State. The President shall order the annulment within four months of the date
when the decision of the Legislative Assembly was delivered to the Ministry of
Justice. (31 December 1994/1556)
For purposes of uniformity and clarity an Act of Åland may contain provisions
on matters relating to the legislative powers of the State, provided that in
their substance they agree with the corresponding provisions of a State Act.
The inclusion of such provisions in an Act of Åland shall not alter the
separation of the legislative powers of the State and Åland.
Entry into force of an Act of Åland
If the President of the Republic has annulled an Act of Åland,
or if he has decided not to use his veto, the Government of Åland shall be so
Where the Presidential veto concerns only a part of an Act of Åland, the
Government of Åland shall decide, as provided by an Act of Åland, whether
the remaining part of the Act shall enter into force or whether the entire Act
Acts of Åland shall be published by the Government of Åland. If the
Legislative Assembly has not specified the day on which the Act shall enter
into force the Government of Åland shall do so.
Decrees of Åland
By virtue of an authorisation in an Act of Åland the
Government of Åland may issue Decrees of Åland on the organisation and
activities of the Åland administration, on the implementation and application
of the Act and on other matters within the powers of Åland.
The provisions of section 19, paragraph 3 on Acts of Åland shall apply
correspondingly to Decrees of Åland.
Initiatives of the Legislative Assembly and the Government of Åland
The Legislative Assembly may submit initiatives on matters
within the legislative power of the State. The Government of Finland shall
present the initiative for the consideration of the Parliament of Finland.
The Government of Åland may submit initiatives on matters referred to in
paragraph 1 for the issuance of administrative provisions and regulations for
Administrative authority of Åland
Åland officials shall conduct the administration of matters
within the legislative power of Åland, subject to the following:
1) statistical information that is necessary for the State and in the
possession of Åland officials shall on request be made available for State
2) statistical information for the use of Åland shall be collected in
cooperation with the State officials concerned;
3) the Government of Åland shall obtain opinions from the State officials
concerned before undertaking measures regarding a non-movable prehistoric
4) the Government of Åland shall obtain an opinion from the National Archives
before the Åland officials or the municipal or ecclesiastical officials
render a decision on the destruction of documents in an archive located in Åland.
Citizenship of officials
A citizen of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark may
be employed as an official of Åland or of a municipality in Åland. The
employment of other aliens for such service shall be as provided by an Act of
Only a citizen of Finland may be employed in the police force.
An appeal may be brought to the Government of Åland against
an administrative decision made by a body subordinate to the Government of Åland,
provided that the decision does not concern a tax or dues. An appeal against a
decision of the municipal authorities may be brought before a County
Administrative Court, or another instance as provided by a State Act.
Notwithstanding this, an Act of Åland may provide that an appeal against a
decision by a municipal authority on a matter within the competence of Åland
may be brought to the Government of Åland.
An appeal as to the legality of a decision of the Government of Åland may be
brought before the Supreme Administrative Court. A decision of the Government
of Åland relating to appointments shall not be subject to appeal.
Establishment of an administrative court
An administrative court may be established in Åland by a
State Act. Notwithstanding section 25 such a court may by an Act of Åland be
granted jurisdiction over administrative matters within the competence of Åland.
Legislative authority of the State
The State shall have legislative power in matters relating to
1) the enactment, amendment, explanation and repeal of a Constitutional Act
and an exception to a Constitutional Act;
2) the right to reside in the country, to choose a place of residence and to
move from one place to another, the use of freedom of speech, freedom of
association and freedom of assembly, the confidentiality of post and
3) the organisation and activities of State officials;
4) foreign relations, subject to the provisions of chapter 9;
5) the flag and coat of arms of the State and the use thereof, with the
exceptions provided by section 18, subparagraph 3;
6) surname and forename, guardianship, the declaration of the legal death of a
7) marriage and family relations, the juridical status of children, adoption
and inheritance, with the exceptions provided by section 10;
8) associations and foundations, companies and other private corporations, the
keeping of accounts;
9) the nationwide general preconditions on the right of foreigners and foreign
corporations to own and possess real property and shares of stock and to
practice a trade;
10) copyright, patent, copyright of design and trademark, unfair business
practices, promotion of competition, consumer protection;
11) insurance contracts;
12) foreign trade;
13) merchant shipping and shipping lanes;
15) the prices of agricultural and fishing industry products and the promotion
of the export of agricultural products;
16) the formation and registration of pieces of real property and connected
17) mineral finds and mining, with the exceptions as provided by section 18,
18) nuclear energy; however, the consent of the Government of Åland is
required for the construction, possession and operation of a nuclear power
plant and the handling and stockpiling of materials therefor in Åland;
19) units, gauges and methods of measurement, standardisation;
20) the production and stamping of precious metals and trade in items
containing precious metals;
21) labour law, with the exception of the collective agreements on the
salaries of the Åland and municipal officials, and subject to the provisions
of section 29, paragraph 1, subparagraph 6, and section 29, paragraph 2;
22) criminal law, with the exceptions provided by section 18, subparagraph 25;
23) judicial proceedings, subject to the provisions of sections 25 and 26;
preliminary investigations, the enforcement of convictions and sentences and
the extradition of offenders;
24) the administrative deprivation of personal liberty;
25) the Church Code and other legislation relating to religious communities,
the right to hold a public office regardless of creed;
26) citizenship, legislation on aliens, passports;
27) firearms and ammunition;
28) civil defence; however, the decision to evacuate residents of Åland to a
place outside Åland may only be made with the consent of the Government of Åland;
29) human contagious diseases, castration and sterilisation, abortion,
artificial insemination, forensic medical investigations;
30) the qualifications of persons involved in health care and nursing, the
pharmacy service, medicines and pharmaceutical products, drugs and the
production of poisons and the determination of the uses thereof;
31) contagious diseases in pets and livestock;
32) the prohibition of the import of animals and animal products;
33) the prevention of substances destructive to plants from entering the
34) the armed forces and the border guards, subject to the provisions of
section 12, the actions of the authorities to ensure the security of the
State, state of defence, readiness for a state of emergency;
35) explosive substances, as to the part relating to State security;
36) taxes and dues, with the exceptions provided by section 18, subparagraph
37) the issuance of paper money, foreign currencies;
38) statistics necessary for the State;
39) archive material derived from State officials, subject to the provisions
of section 30, subparagraph 17;
40) telecommunications; however, a State official may only grant permission to
engage in general telecommunications in Åland with the consent of the
Government of Åland;
41) the other matters under private law not specifically mentioned in this
section, unless the matters relate directly to an area of legislation within
the competence of Åland according to this Act;
42) other matters that are deemed to be within the legislative power of the
State according to the principles underlying this Act.
State Acts of special importance to Åland
The amendment of a Constitutional Act or another State Act
shall not enter into force in Åland without the consent of the Legislative
Assembly, insofar as it relates to the principles governing the right of a
private person to own real property or business property in Åland.
An opinion shall be obtained from Åland before the enactment of an Act of
special importance to Åland.
Delegation of legislative authority to Åland
In addition to the provisions of section 27, the following
matters come under the legislative power of the State:
1) the population registers;
2) the trade register, the association register and the shipping register;
3) the employment pensions of the employees of the municipalities and the
elected officials of the municipalities, and the employment pensions of other
persons, with the exceptions as provided by section 18, subparagraph 2 a, as
well as other social insurance; (12 July 1996/520)
4) other alcohol legislation than that referred to in section 18, subparagraph
5) the banking and credit services;
6) employment contracts, with the exception provided for apprenticeship by
section 18, subparagraph 14, and cooperation in enterprises. (12 July
With the consent of the Legislative Assembly an Act may be enacted to the
effect that the legislative authority referred to in paragraph 1 be delegated
to Åland in full or in part. Such an Act shall contain provisions on the
measures consequent on the delegation of authority.
A person whose contract of service with the State is affected by the
delegation of authority referred to in paragraph 2 shall with his consent be
transferred to the service of Åland to comparable duties and with his former
benefits, as further provided by Decree.
Administrative authority and procedure
State officials shall conduct the administration of matters
within the legislative power of the State, with regard to the following:
1) when making an appointment to a State office in Åland, special weight
shall be given to the fact that the appointee has knowledge of the local
conditions in Åland or resides in Åland;
2) the word "Åland" shall be incorporated in a passport issued in
Åland, if the holder of the passport has the right of domicile;
3) the Åland officials shall partake in civil defence, as provided by
4) a person with the right of domicile may be assigned only to civilian duties
within Åland by virtue of the general obligation of the citizenry to work;
5) statistics relating to the local conditions in Åland that are in the
possession of State officials shall on request be handed over to the
appropriate Åland officials;
6) State officials shall ensure that Åland gain access to the necessary
frequencies for radio and television broadcasts;
7) the Government of Åland shall decide on granting foreigners or foreign
corporations permission to acquire ownership or possession of real property in
Åland or to practice a trade in Åland; before making a decision it shall
request an opinion from the State official concerned;
8) the duties that according to legislation on contagious diseases in humans
or pets and livestock, legislation on the prevention of substances destructive
to plants from entering the country and legislation on the production and use
of poisons belong to State officials, shall in Åland be performed by the
Government of Åland or by another official as provided by an Act of Åland;
9) (repealed by the Act of 31 December 1994/156);
10) the duties that in the State belong to the Consumer Complaint Board shall
in Åland be performed by a special board appointed by the Government of Åland;
11) the duties that according to legislation on consumer counselling belong to
a municipality shall in Åland be performed by Åland officials, as agreed by
Åland and the municipalities;
12) a new merchant shipping lane may only be opened in Åland with the consent
of the Government of Åland, subject to the provisions of section 62;
13) a matter relating to the permission to conduct merchant shipping in Åland
or between Åland and the rest of Finland in a foreign vessel shall be
negotiated on with the Government of Åland;
14) the speed limits for merchant vessels on the lanes in Åland and the other
matters relating to shipping that are of special importance to Åland shall be
negotiated on with the Government of Åland;
15) matters relating to the right to practice air traffic in Åland shall
belong to the Government of Åland; however, an opinion on such matters shall
be obtained from a State official;
16) when considering matters relating to air traffic that are of special
importance to Åland, State authorities shall consult the Government of Åland;
17) archive material deriving from State authorities in Åland may be removed
from Åland only after negotiations with the Government of Åland;
18) a decision of the Bank of Finland that may be presumed to be especially
important for the economic life or for employment in Åland shall, if
possible, only be made after negotiations with the Government of Åland;
19) the Government of Åland shall have the right to be represented together
with the Council of State in the negotiations with the central organisations
of the producers on income from agriculture and the fishing industry and on
the regulation of agricultural production and the fishing industry;
20) the Government of Åland shall be heard before a decision is reached on
changes in import regulations that may be especially important to the
agricultural production or fishing industry in Åland;
21) an opinion shall be obtained from the Government of Åland before granting
a licence to practice a licenced trade, if a State official has the competence
to grant the licence;
22) the Government of Åland shall be heard before a decision is reached on
closing down an institution or permanent post of local administration of the
State in Åland;
23) statistics on Åland that are necessary for the State shall be collected
in cooperation with the appropriate Åland officials.
Obligation of State officials to aid the Åland officials
On request of the Government of Åland, State officials are
obliged as within their general competence to aid the Åland officials in the
performance of duties relating to autonomy .
In agreement with the Government of Åland, duties belonging
to State administration may be transferred by Decree (Consentaneous Decree)
to an Åland official for a fixed period or until further notice.
Correspondingly, duties belonging to Åland administration may be transferred
to a State official.
If notice is given on the agreement, the Decree shall be amended or repealed
as soon as possible and in any case within one year from the date of the
notice. Unless the Decree is amended or repealed within the said time, the
agreement shall be deemed to have been terminated one year after the notice.
An Act of Åland contrary to a Consentaneous Decree shall not apply for the
part contrary to the Consentaneous Decree while the Decree is in force.
An opinion on a proposition for a Consentaneous Decree shall be requested from
the Åland Delegation. The Consentaneous Decree shall be issued by the
President of the Republic. (31 December 1994/1556)
Obtaining an opinion from the Government of Åland
Before the President of the Republic or the Council of State
issue provisions that only concern Åland or that otherwise are especially
significant to Åland, an opinion on the matter shall be obtained from the
Government of Åland. The above provision shall apply also to regulations
issued by other officials.
Decision and presentation
The President of the Republic shall make his decision on
matters relating to the autonomy of Åland as provided by section 34 of the
Matters relating to autonomy shall be presented to the Council of State from
the Ministry of Justice. However, matters relating to the economy of Åland
shall be presented from the Ministry of Finance.
The Council of State shall appoint persons with good knowledge of the autonomy
of Åland as presenting officials for matters referred to in paragraph 2.
Administration of the law
The administration of the law in Åland shall be conducted by
the courts and officials as provided by State
legislation, unless otherwise provided by section 25 or 26.
The official language of Åland shall be Swedish. The language
used by the State and Åland officials and in the municipal administration
shall be Swedish.
The official language of the Åland Delegation shall be Swedish. The opinions
and decisions of the Supreme Court referred to in this Act shall be written in
The provisions of this Act on the language used in State administration shall
also apply, where appropriate, to the officials of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, unless otherwise provided by the Church Code.
Right to use Finnish
In a matter concerning himself a citizen of Finland shall have
the right to use Finnish before a court and with other State officials in Åland.
Language of correspondence
Letters and other documents between Åland officials and the
State officials in Åland shall be written in Swedish. The same provision
shall apply also to correspondence between the said authorities and the Åland
Delegation, on one hand, as well as the Council of State, the officials in the
central government of Finland and the superior courts and other State
officials to whose jurisdiction Åland or a part thereof belongs, on the other
However, a treaty referred to in section 59 that is submitted for approval of
the Legislative Assembly may be sent to Åland in the original language, if
the treaty by law is not to be published in Swedish. A document referred to in
section 59 a that is notified to Åland may be sent to Åland in the original
language, if it has not yet been translated into Swedish. (31 December
The provisions of paragraph 1 on Åland officials shall also apply to
municipal officials in Åland.
On the request of a party, the courts and the County
Government of Åland shall enclose a Finnish translation in their documents.
If a document submitted to a court or another State official is written in
Finnish, the official shall see to its translation into Swedish, if necessary.
A private party in Åland shall have the right to receive an enclosed Swedish
translation with his copy of the document in matters that are considered by a
State official in the State, referred to in section 38, paragraph 1, and on
which the document shall according to general language legislation be written
Language of education
The language of education in schools maintained by public
funds or subsidised from the said funds shall be Swedish, unless otherwise
provided by an Act of Åland.
Proficiency in Finnish
A graduate of an educational institution in Åland may, as
further provided by Decree, be admitted to a State-maintained or State-subsidised
Swedish or bilingual educational institution and be graduated therefrom, even
if he does not have the proficiency in Finnish required for admittance and
Linguistic proficiency of State officials
Provisions on the linguistic proficiency of a State official
in Åland shall be issued by Decree with the consent of the Government of Åland.
The State shall organise training in Swedish for the persons in its service in
Information and regulations issued in Swedish
The Council of State shall take measures to have the necessary
product and service information distributed to the consumers in Åland in
Swedish, where possible.
The Council of State shall also see to the availability in Swedish of the
regulations to be followed in Åland.
Section 44 (12 July 1996/520)
The Legislative Assembly shall confirm a budget for Åland.
More detailed provisions on the budget for Åland shall be given by an Act of
When confirming a budget, the Legislative Assembly shall strive to ensure at
least the same level of social benefits for the people of Åland as enjoyed by
the people in the State.
The right of the Legislative Assembly to legislate on taxes and the bases of
the dues levied in Åland administration is as provided by section 18,
Åland shall every year receive a sum of money from State
funds to cover the costs of autonomy. The sum (amount of equalisation)
shall be determined in a special equalisation procedure.
The equalisation shall take place retroactively for every calendar year.
Advance payments of the amount of equalisation shall be made every year.
Calculation of the amount of equalisation
The amount of equalisation shall be calculated by multiplying
the State income for the appropriate year, not including new State loans, as
established in the State final accounts, by a certain index (basis for
The basis for equalisation and the alteration thereof
The basis for equalisation shall be 0.45 per cent.
The basis for equalisation shall be altered if the bases for the State final
accounts change in a manner that has a considerable effect on the amount of
The basis for equalisation shall be raised if
1) the expenditures of Åland have increased because administrative duties of
the State have been transferred to Åland, or because Åland by agreement with
the State pursues in full or for a considerable part an activity that is in
the interest of the State
2) the realisation of the purposes of autonomy causes substantial additional
3) other significant expenditures which have not been taken into notice when
enacting this Act are caused to the Åland administration.
The basis for equalisation shall be lowered if administrative duties of Åland
have been transferred to the State and the expenditures of Åland have hence
The alteration of the basis for equalisation shall be provided by a State Act
with the consent of the Legislative Assembly.
An extraordinary grant may be given on the proposition of the
Government of Åland for particularly great non-recurring expenditures that
may not justifiably be expected to be incorporated in the budget of Åland. An
extraordinary grant may only be given for purposes within the competence of Åland.
If the income and property tax levied in Åland during a
fiscal year exceeds 0.5 per cent of the corresponding tax in the entire
country, the excess shall be retributed to Åland (tax retribution).
Bond loans may be issued and other loans taken out for the
needs of Åland.
Åland shall be subsidised from State funds in order to
1) prevent or remove substantial economic disorders that affect especially Åland;
2) cover the costs of a natural disaster, nuclear accident, oil spill or
another comparable incident, unless the costs are justifiably to be borne by
The Government of Åland shall initiate the proceedings for a subsidy at the
latest on the year following the emergence of the costs. A decision on the
matter shall, if possible, be made within six months of the initiation of the
Appointment of the Governor
A person who has the necessary qualifications for conducting
the administration of Åland well and for attending to State security shall be
The President of the Republic shall appoint the Governor after having agreed
on the matter with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. If a consensus is
not reached, the President shall appoint the Governor from among five
candidates nominated by the Legislative Assembly.
When the office of Governor is vacant or when the Governor is
prevented from attending to his duties the President may, after having agreed
on the matter with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, appoint a suitable
person as Acting Governor.
Dismissal of the Governor
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly shall be heard before
making a decision on a matter relating to the dismissal of the Governor.
Composition and competence of the Åland Delegation
The duties of the Chairman of the Åland Delegation shall be
performed by the Governor or another person, whom the President of the
Republic has appointed after having agreed on the matter with the Speaker of
the Legislative Assembly. When the Chairman is prevented from attending to his
duties, they shall be performed by the Vice Chairman, also appointed by the
President after having agreed on the matter with the Speaker. The Council of
State and the Legislative Assembly shall both elect two persons as Members of
the Delegation and two Deputy Members for each Member.
The Delegation shall only have a quorum when all the Members are present.
The Delegation may hear expert opinions.
Duties of the Åland Delegation
Upon request the Delegation shall give opinions to the Council
of State, the ministries thereof, the Government of Åland and the courts.
The Delegation shall decide upon the matters referred to in section 62.
In addition, the Delegation shalL
1) carry out the equalisation referred to in section 45;
2) determine the tax retribution in accordance with section 49;
3) give the extraordinary grant referred to in section 48 and award the
subsidy referred to in section 51, and decide upon the possible conditions
The Delegation shall determine the amount of the advance payments referred to
in section 45, paragraph 2.
The President of the Republic shall confirm the decision of the Delegation on
a matter referred to in paragraph 3. The decision shall within three months be
confirmed unaltered or left unconfirmed. If the decision is not confirmed, the
matter shall be returned to the Delegation for reconsideration.
Expenses of the Åland Delegation
Åland shall bear the expenses of the Åland Delegation
derived from the Delegates elected by the Legislative Assembly. The other
expenses shall be covered from State funds.
Negotiations on international treaties
The Government of Åland may propose negotiations on a treaty
with a foreign State to the appropriate State officials.
The Government of Åland shall be informed of negotiations on a treaty with a
foreign State if the matter is subject to the competence of Åland. If the
negotiations on a treaty with a foreign State otherwise relate to matters of
special importance to Åland, the Government of Åland shall be informed of
the negotiations, if appropriate. For a special reason the Government of Åland
shall be reserved the opportunity to participate in the negotiations.
Entry into force of international treaties
If a treaty that Finland has concluded with a foreign State
contains a provision contrary to this Act, the provision shall enter into
force in Åland only if so provided by an Act enacted in accordance with
sections 67 and 69 of the Parliament of Finland Act and section 69 of this
If the treaty contains a provision that according to this Act is subject to
the authority of Åland, the Legislative Assembly must consent to the statute
implementing the treaty in order to have the provision enter into force in Åland.
The Legislative Assembly may authorise the Government of Åland to give the
consent referred to in paragraph 2.
Chapter 9 a
(31 December 1994/1556)
Matters relating to the European Union
Section 59 a
(31 December 1994/1556)
Preparation of EU matters
The Government of Åland shall be notified of matters under
preparation in the institutions of the European Union, if the matters are
within the legislative power of Åland or may for other reasons be especially
important to Åland.
The Government of Åland shall have the right to participate in the
preparation of the matters referred to in paragraph 1 within the Council of
Section 59 b
(31 December 1994/1556)
Application of a Common Policy of the European Community
In so far as the matter belongs to the legislative power of Åland,
the Government of Åland shall formulate the national position of Finland
relating to the application of a Common Policy of the European Community in Åland.
Section 59 c
(31 December 1994/1556)
The Committee of the Regions of the European Community
A candidate designated by the Government of Åland shall be
nominated as one of the representatives of Finland in the Committee of the
Regions of the European Community.
Legality of Decrees, conflicts of authority
If a provision of a Decree of Åland conflicts with an Act of
Åland or a State Act applied in Åland, it shall not apply.
If a conflict of authority arises between Åland officials and State officials
on a given administrative function, a decision on the matter shall be rendered
by the Supreme Court on the proposal of the Government of Åland or the State
official. Before rendering the decision the Supreme Court shall obtain
opinions from the appropriate official and the Åland Delegation.
Section 60 a
(31 December 1994/1556)
State legislation shall apply on confidentiality and access to
documents in matters referred to in chapters 9 and 9 a.
State land and State buildings
If the State requires land in the Åland Islands for regular
State administration, Åland shall allocate suitable lots for the purpose. If
Åland does not allocate the lots, the State may acquire the required land
without the cooperation of Åland.
If the land referred to in paragraph 1 is no longer required for regular State
administration, the right of the State to the land shall pass to Åland. Åland
shall also acquire the buildings and facilities rendered unnecessary, unless
they are removed.
The allocation of land according to paragraph 1 and the transfer of land and
other property to Åland according to paragraph 2 shall be agreed upon by the
appropriate ministry and the Government of Åland.
State legislation shall apply to the redemption, for full compensation, of
real property for State needs.
Controversy in certain situations
If controversy arises in situations referred to in section 30,
subparagraph 12, or section 61, paragraph 1 or 2, the matter shall be resolved
by the Åland Delegation.
Right of Åland to inheritance
If a person habitually resident in the Åland Islands dies
without an heir, the inheritance shall pass to Åland. However, real property
and comparable property inherited by Åland not located in the Åland Islands
and not required to cover the debts of the estate shall be handed over to the
Degree earned in another Nordic country
A Decree may be issued to the effect that a degree required
for a State office in Åland may be substituted with a comparable degree
earned in Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark.
Trade activity of the State and certain offices in Åland
If the right to practice a trade, regulated in State
legislation according to section 27 or section 29, is reserved to the State,
an independent State institution or a corporation where the State holds the
power of decision, a Decree may be issued to the effect that Åland or a
corporation where Åland holds the power of decision be entitled to practice
the same trade in the Åland Islands, unless there are substantial reasons for
The provisions of section 30, subparagraph 1, section 42, paragraph 1 and
section 64 on State offices shall apply also to service in independent State
institutions in Åland and, as further provided by a Decree, in corporations
where the State holds the power of decision.
Exemption from taxes
Åland shall have the same right of exemption from taxes and
for comparable benefits as the State.
Implementation of municipal suffrage in certain cases
A citizen of Finland without the right of domicile and
citizens of Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark shall be awarded the suffrage
and eligibility for office in municipal elections on the prerequisites
provided by an Act of Åland. Citizens of other states may be awarded the
suffrage and eligibility for office in the same manner. (31 December
A decision to enact an Act of Åland referred to in paragraph 1 shall require
at least a two thirds' majority of the votes cast.
In Parliamentary and Presidential elections Åland shall
constitute an electoral district. Provisions on the said elections shall be
Amendment of the Autonomy Act and the
Enactment of an Act of Åland by qualified majority
This Act may be amended, explained, repealed or exceptions to
it may be made only by consistent decisions of Parliament of Finland and the
Legislative Assembly. In Parliament of Finland the decision shall be made as
provided for the amendment, explanation and repeal of Constitutional Acts and
in the Legislative Assembly by at least a two thirds' majority of votes cast.
An Act of Åland may be enacted to the effect that the Legislative Assembly is
to enact an Act of Åland by at least a two thirds' majority of votes cast. An
Act of Åland containing such a provision shall be enacted in the same manner.
Entry into force and transitory provisions
Entry into force
This Act shall enter into force on 1 January 1993.
This Act shall repeal the Autonomy Act for Åland (28 December 1951/760), as
later amended (the previous Act), the Act on the Application of the
Administrative Appeals Act in The Åland Islands (16 February 1979/182) and
the other provisions contrary to this Act.
Measures required for the implementation of this Act may be undertaken before
its entry into force. When enacting an Act of Åland, the Legislative Assembly
may apply the provisions of this Act even before its entry into force.
However, such an Act of Åland shall not enter into force before this Act has
entered into force.
The Åland Delegation elected in accordance with this Act shall perform also
the duties of the Åland Delegation provided by the previous Act.
Application of previous provisions
If an area of legislation that has previously been regulated
by Acts of Åland has been transferred to the legislative power of the State
or if an area previously subject to the legislative power of the State has
been transferred to the legislative power of Åland by this Act or on the
basis of this Act, an Act of Åland or State Act enacted before the entry into
force of this Act, relating to the said area of legislation, shall apply in Åland
until the Act of Åland has been repealed by Decree and the State Act by an
Act of Åland.
Right of domicile
A person habitually resident in Åland at the time of the
entry into force of this Act shall upon request to the Government of Åland
have the right to gain the right of domicile according to the provisions of
the previous Act.
The right of domicile of an adopted child shall be determined according to the
adoptive parents also in cases where the adoption has taken place before the
entry into force of this Act.
A person habitually resident in Åland at the time of the entry
into force of this Act shall, after having resided in Åland for five years
without interruption, have the right to practice a trade in Åland in accordance
with the provisions of the previous Act.
The private persons, companies, co-operations, associations and other
corporations and foundations that at the time of the entry into force of this
Act practice a trade in Åland in accordance with the provisions of the previous
Act shall have the right to continually practice the said trade in accordance
with the provisions of the previous Act.
Dealing with matters at transfer of authority
A matter, where the authority is transferred between officials
in accordance with this Act, shall be dealt with by the officials with whom
the matter was pending at the time of the transfer of authority. The matter
shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of force before the
transfer of authority.
The previous Act and the other applicable former Acts shall apply to an appeal
against an official decision made before the transfer of authority.
A person whose duties in a State office are in accordance with
this Act transferred to the authority of Åland shall, if he so consents, be
transferred with equal benefits to corresponding duties in an Åland office,
as provided by Decree.
Until the issuance of the Decree referred to in section 42, paragraph 1, the
previous Act and the legislation on the linguistic proficiency of State
officials, in the form they were at the time of the entry into force of this
Act, shall apply to the required linguistic proficiency of a State official in
A person in a State office in Åland at the time of the entry into force of
this Act shall be continually qualified for the said office, regardless of the
provisions of the Decree issued in accordance with section 42, paragraph 1.
The provisions of the previous Act on the impeachment of the
Chairman or a member of the Government of Åland, a presenting official
thereof or another Åland official shall be continually applied, until
otherwise provided by Decree.
Regular equalisation, extraordinary grants and
the alteration of the basis for equalisation
The regular equalisation referred to in the previous Act shall
be carried out for the last time for the year preceding the entry into force
of this Act.
An extraordinary grant given before the entry into force of this Act may be
supplemented on the two years following the entry into force of this Act.
The basis for equalisation shall be altered if the bases for the State final
accounts change before the entry into force of this Act in a manner referred
to in section 47, paragraph 2.
Land, buildings and facilities
The provisions of section 61, paragraph 2 shall apply also to
land, buildings and facilities used in regular State administration at the
time of the entry into force of this Act.
A Decree may be issued to the effect that the State land, building or facility
not referred to in paragraph 1 be handed over to Åland.
When the duties of a State official are transferred to an Åland
official in accordance with this Act, the State movable property in Åland
necessary for the carrying out of the said duties shall pass to Åland without