Tag Archives: Greenland

Will Greenland follow Alaska?

An idea to purchase Greenland  from Denmark came one and a half century after the successful operation of acquisition of Alaska from Russia (1867) for an amount of USD7,2 million. The other historic deal was an acquisition of Louisiana for USD15 million from France (1803). 

Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen‘s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” President Trump tweeted.

The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

While meeting with reporters in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she did not wish Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to Denmark to become a diplomatic crisis.

“I actually think we have responded very nicely from the Danish side,”  Frederiksen said. “When you are close allies and good friends, like Denmark and the U.S. are, there should also be room for disagreements along the way. I hope we can stop this discussion soon.”

“Obviously, the right decision for this country,” U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton said, claiming he had put forward the idea of purchase of Greenland. “Several months ago I met with the Danish ambassador, and I proposed they sell Greenland to us.” It is a right decision for the United States, he added.

Greenland is a autonomous Arctic territory of Denmark, with a population of 56,480 people (2013).  About 80% of Greenland is covered by a shield of ice. The territory also has “untold” economic potential in mineral wealth, Cotton said.

The Senator underlined that the territory’s location makes it a vital component of the U.S. defense posture. There’s good reason that Thule Air Force Base has remained operable in northern Greenland since the 1950s, he said.

Greenland village

The Kingdom of Denmark implemented steps for enforce democracy for people of Greenland, granting them home rule in 1979, and in 2008 more powers were transferred from Danish government to local authorities – Greenland government – in Self-Government Act.

 

Will the Catalan Republic become an EU member state?

 

cataloniaJordi SOLE, MEP, OPINION

The emergence on new states in Europe is nothing new. In fact, many European states emerged at the end of the 20th century: from the Baltic States that regained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, through Czechoslovakia’s split that created the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to the breakup of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which gave birth to no less than seven new states.

The novelty today is that, while these countries did not immediately join the European Union and some of them even took a long and yet unfinished journey towards the Union, an independent Catalonia will claim its right to remain part of the Union, as Catalonia has been a partner in this common project since 1986, has always defined itself as one of the most pro-European countries in the continent, and pro-Europeanism remains a unifying element among Catalonia’s main political parties.

The EU has neither a direct precedent nor a clear policy for what is commonly known as internal enlargement. In fact, EU treaties provide the framework for countries to join the EU and to leave it, but the continuity in the EU of a new state emerging from within the EU is neither explicitly rejected nor foreseen in the treaties.

Nevertheless, the EU has accepted the redefinition of member states’ geographical limits on a number of unexpected cases in the past, adopting pragmatic solutions based on negotiated agreements. That was the case when East and West Germany merged, and also when Greenland decided to leave the EU, but not Denmark, in a referendum.

Furthermore, the EU is committed to the promotion of democracy, which is endorsed as a fundamental principle in its Treaties, and could never punish Catalans (who also enjoy European citizenship rights) for exercising this basic principle in a referendum.

Finally, it is in the economic interest of the EU and its member states –also that of Spain– to include the Catalan Republic among the EU member states, as Catalonia has strong commercial potential, is a strategic location for trade, and is a net contributor to the EU budget.

Thus, there is no reason to think that the EU will not be pragmatic again and will not defend its own economic interests by not taking the Catalan Republic on board.

Jordi Solé

MEP