Congratulations Mr President

Dear Herr Juncker,

First, many congratulations on your appointment as new president of the European Commission! It is an important role and your actions and leadership will affect all of us in Europe, one way or the other.

I am a Member of Parliament on the Åland Islands, The Islands of Peace. Ever since the Crimean War Åland has been demilitarized and neutralized and therefore in every aspect a role model for the rest of the world. As a curiosity the first three Victoriacrosses ever were awarded for bravery in Bomarsund (Åland) where the russians had built a fortress which was destroyed by the British and French fleet in a unique joint operation 1854. We are a part of Finland (1921) and since 1995 a part of EU. Here are more information about our island (English).

Åland has over and over again tried to convince Finland that one of the 13 places in the European Parliament in fairness should belong to Åland as a part of the agreement in the League of Nations 1921. Åland was then ”given” to Finland with an autonomy that would guarantee Åland its language (Swedish) and also the possibilities to in very aspect become as much independent as possible without becoming a country in itself. Over the years the development has given us a flag of our own, stamps, an outstanding transportsystem and much more. There has also been disappointments as happen when you are in any relationship. Presently a Committee under the leadership of former Finnish president Tarja Halonen is looking into further development and constitutional changes between Åland and Finland. We expect that work to become reality in 2022 when Åland celebrates 100 years of autonomy!

I am pleased to see that your intentions are to boost the European economy in many different areas and I hope you and your Commission will see and honour the rights for small areas in a larger Europe (Principles of Subsidiarity you know!).

It is also great news that you are focusing on the matter of energy for the future. Åland is one of the most developed economies when it comes to green growth. We produce energy from wind and our shipping industry (the economic locomotive of the island) works very hard to find the best solutions in order to limit the use of sulphur in their transports of passengers and goods. Åland could become a cutting edge area for testing of new energy systems, for Finland and for the rest of EU; like the small island of Jeju has become for South Korea.

Dear president Juncker, I hope you will show us and the rest of Europe that your vision includes all of us and take time to, as first EU-chairman ever (or commissioner for that matter), to visit our island. The creation of European Commission need all hands on deck and as being a shipping island since centuries we are willing to help in every aspect. Welcome!


Jörgen Pettersson
Member of Parliament
Chairman of The Finance, Industry, Trade and Agriculture Committee

PS My party is also an associated member of ALDE. This is how I introduced my island (in English) when it happened last year. And a few words why Åland will take a stronger part in EU.

Jean-Claude Juncker valdes i går till ny president i EU-kommissionen. Han aviserar ett investeringsprogram på 300 miljarder euro för att sätta fart på den europeiska ekonomin. Här kan man läsa Svenska Dagbladets rapportering.
ALDE-gruppen i EU-parlamentet fällde avgörandet när Jean-Claude Juncker blev ny EU-president.


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