After the In/Out referendum in the UK (‘Brexit’) on 23 June 2016 and its consequential expected exit from the EU, the interest in the special relations between the EU and Greenland has increased. The main reason for the interest is founded on a certain degree of parallelism as, in 1982, 52% of the population of Greenland voted in favour of Greenland ‘withdrawing’ from the EU, although it had originally joined in 1973 as an integrated part of Denmark. Subsequently, in 1985, having gained a higher degree of independence of Denmark a few years beforehand, this led to the frequent claims that, in principle, it had become the first territory, albeit not country, ever to secede from the EU. At the same time, other separatist movements, while at present not concerned with secession from the EU, but rather from the countries of which they are formally a part, can now be observed as gaining the ascendancy to varying degrees. The Catalan and Scottish examples at present appear to be the most prominent. Furthermore, Greenland is increasingly viewed as an interesting partner to the EU, not least due to its enormous military-strategic value and richness in natural resources (especially having regard to its plentiful fishing grounds, but increasingly also its mineral wealth). Against that background, this talk aims at analysing the special legal relations between the EU and Greenland, which necessitates a focus on the particular triangular EU-Greenland-Denmark relationship. Generally, this triangular relationship has not been fully analysed. The common perspective taken is just the Denmark-Greenland relationship, occasionally the EU-Greenland relationship, and never truly the triangular one. The following topics will thus be covered: the Danish Membership of the EU; Greenland and the overall constitutional framework; the withdrawal of Greenland from and its consequential association with the EU; and Conclusions.

Ulla Neergaard is professor of EU Law at the University of Copenhagen and publishes widely within that area of law. She also has substantial experience in senior non-executive roles in the public sector in Denmark. She was formerly chair of a prominent EU wide legal professional institution (FIDE), which coordinates expert input on significant issues of EU Law.

Moderator: Associate Professor Jaan Paju, Stockholm University

When: Tuesday, 3 March 2020, at 12:00 (coffee will be served from 11:30)
Where: Stockholm University, Universitetsvägen 10, C-house, 8th floor, Faculty room

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