Next on Greenland’s path to greater independence: 'Free Association'?
Greenland's constitutional relation to Denmark is strained.
Greenland explores possibilities for a greater say in foreign, security and defense policy, while increased pressure from the current geopolitical freeze makes differences in interests between Copenhagen and Nuuk apparent and the need to coordinate urgent.
And now, a Greenlandic draft constitution is unveiled.
In recent decades, discussions in Greenland about how to organize future sovereignty have increasingly returned to the concept of free association.
In 1960, the UN General Assembly identified three options for decolonisation: independence as a sovereign independent state, integration with another independent state, and free association with an independent state.
Only five former colonies have opted for free association - and each has a bespoke relationship with a former colonial power: Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau.
To understand what future course, Greenland might be setting itself on, DIIS in collaboration with Nasiffik - centre for foreign & security policy at Ilisimatusarfik invites for a seminar in Nuuk, 24 May 2023, to discuss:
- current experiences with free association in the pacific island states with this model of independence;
- the reasons why free association arrangements does not exist elsewhere, including in the North Atlantic;
- select aspects of international law pointing to dilemmas for Greenland in relation to free association.
Brief version of the academic analyses will be made available via diis.dk and uni.gl (in Greenlandic and English) in advance of the seminar.
Greenlandic politicians, diplomats, NGOs, and academics have been invited to discuss Greenlandic perspectives.