The Åland islands are from the mid-90s of the 20th century the part of the European Union as an autonomous, demilitarized and neutralized territory of the Republic of Finnland. Exactly these attributes determine their international status, and it´s key-field to the whole process involving the islands to the integrating groups.
The Åland islands has successed to make a compromise with the European Union about it´s membership, and thus retain all the essential elements of the Åland´s unique identity. The combination of special status under international law, along with linguistic and ethnic specifics of the Åland islands creates an interesting subject for research. The attention should not only address to the historical context of a peaceful settlement of disputes, but the combined effect of the islands in different structures.
In this example we can see the flexibility of the European Union, which has managed to accept very different territory with specific demands, the EU fixed many consessions up, while respecting the international status of the Åland islands and it´s traditional way of functioning.