Finland is still waiting for the island of Åland’s Parliament to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Any international treaty signed by Finland which affects the islands must also be approved by the Åland Parliament, if the treaty is to be applied there. There are currently some domestic disputes which are being discussed between the Åland parliament and the mainland parliament. The Ålanders would like to have a greater say in the decision making process at both the European level and national level. The are also unhappy about some recent initiatives taken by the European Commission, such as the proposed ban on ‘snuff’, the popular chewing tobacco, and the annual spring hunt of water fowl. EPIN Commentary
The chances of having a referendum on the Reform Treaty at the moment seem slim. However a recent poll carried out by the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament showed that 65% of Finnish people were in favour of a referendum on the new Treaty and only 30% were against it.
Ratification without the need for a constitutional amendment
A simple majority is needed if there is no transfer of power (§ 93, 94, 95 Finnish Constitution). If there is a transfer of power then a 2/3 majority is needed in parliament (§ 94 II Finnish Constitution). There is a limit to the transfer of power, which is the endangerment of the fundamental democratic rights of the Constitution (§ 94 II Finnish Constitution).
Ratification with the need for a constitutional amendment
To approve a constitutional amendment a majority of 2/3 of votes from parliament. After the proposed constitutional amendment has to be approved by a majority of votes from parliament and its new election.
Other Constitutional Regulations on Referendums
In Finland a binding referendum requires implementation by constitutional amendment. There are explicit provisions within the constitution for consultative referendum (§ 53 Finnish Constitution).
On the 5th December 2006 the Finland’s parliament approved the Constitution. (125 Yes, 39 No)
47% of the Finnish population are in favour of a constitution for the European Union. (Eurobarometer 67 June 2007)
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