The European Union-Greenland relations after 2015 – a partnership beyond fisheries

Piotr Kobza


The introduction of a new, enhanced autonomy status for Greenland within the Danish Realm  since 21 June 2009, after the referendum of 25 November 2008, brought about a new chapter in the history of the emancipation of Greenland from Copenhagen.  In comparison with the previous status, in force since 1979,  competences of the home-rule government in Nuuk were broadened, especially in the domains of jurisprudence, public order and management of the natural reserves. It was recognized that the Greenlandic nation was a subject of the international law with an inherent right to declare independence, which in turn should be respected by Denmark. The financial subsidies from Denmark were to be reduced, and economic dependence of Greenland on the Danish budget – diminished. All these introduced new possibilities for the Greenlanders to shape political and economic development of their island. The purpose of this text is to set out the reasons, ways and methods of the process of deepening relations between the European Union and Greenland, seen against the background of interests and activities of other international actors.

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