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Towards a Non-sovereignist Constitution in Finland – The European Union Contributing to National Constitutional Change*

by Anu Mutanen, LL.D., M.Sc. (Admin.), University of Helsinki.

Finland used to have one of the most sovereignty-oriented constitutions amongst the Member States of the European Union (EU). However, the EU membership attained in 1995 and the overall Europeanisation and internationalisation of the Finnish constitution during the 1990s contributed to a change towards a non-sovereignist constitution. This was evidenced in the new Constitution adopted in 2000 and, in particular, in the comprehensive constitutional revision realised in 2012. As a result, Section 1 of the Constitution of Finland currently entails both a clause on state sovereignty and a clause on EU membership as follows: ‘Finland is a sovereign republic. [–] Finland is a Member State of the European Union.’ How did this unprecedented constitutional regulation come about?

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Parliament of Finland

Letter from the North: Europeanization as a Catalyst of Constitutional Change in Finland

by Juha Lavapuro, Tuomas Ojanen and
Janne Salminen

Memberships in modern-day international organizations and supranational constitutional orders are currently one of the main causes of constitutional change. This applies to both the formal constitutional amendments and to doctrinal changes. Finland provides a neat but overlooked example of this trend.

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