Digital Intern in Spring 2021: Tesfaye Ayalew Mekonen

Tesfaye Photo

Tesfaye Ayalew Mekonen is doing a remote, digital internship at the Åland Islands Peace Institute from December 2020 to February 2021. He is originally from Ethiopia, but currently he is in Australia doing a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland. He holds a Master of Law (LL.M) and a Bachelor’s […]


Åland’s special position Åland is an autonomous province in Finland, consisting of about 6,500 islands and about 30,000 inhabitants. Åland belonged to Sweden until 1809 when it, together with the rest of Finland, became Russian. Strategically located Åland was demilitarized in 1856. In connection with Finland’s independence (1917), the League of Nations (1921) decided that […]

Demilitarisation & neutralisation

Åland must not be fortified and the right to a military presence within the demilitarised zone is strictly limited. Neutralisation is defined by Åland remaining neutral during all wartime operations. Convention on the Demilitarization of the Åland Islands, 1856: “… the Åland Islands shall not be fortified and that no military nor naval establishment shall […]

Protection of Minorities

Åland has a special, statutory protection for the Swedish language and culture. The protection of the language and culture of Åland was one of the guarantees adopted by the League of Nations in 1921. The protection is further developed in Åland’s Autonomy Act and other international and national legislation.  

Links & Literature

Ålands lagting Ålands landskapsregering Ålands kulturstiftelse EURAC Autonomy Arrangements in the World  Ålands kulturhistoriska museum