On Monday 11 January 2010 the seminar “Strategic options for Åland in the EU” was held in the town library of Mariehamn. The seminar is based on the researcher Sarah Stephan’s report “Regional voices in the European Union – regions with legislative power and multi-level-governance. Perspectives for the Åland Islands.”
Sarah Stephen demonstrates how different ways of looking at the EU can have effects on the methods for influence chosen by regions. She also indicates that there are more ways of gaining influence than those normally considered, and since these methods do not need to be expansive they can also be useful for smaller regions with limited resources.
A few possible alternatives for Åland is to increase the presence in Brussels, to offer expert knowledge within special areas of expertise, and to increase the knowledge of Åland at a national level as well as at a European level through for instance civil service exchanges.