Blink and pinch yourself, a tiny island population on the edge of Europe are on the verge of renegotiating the Lisbon Treaty, particularly in the context of more access to the EU Council of ministers, speaking rights within EU structures, a role in controlling subsidiarity and they already have a protocol guaranteeing autonomy on taxation.
In total the influence and concessions won by this tiny island within the EU is way out of proportion to its population of 27,000. Oops, you thought we were talking about Ireland.
No, this is an island where a government is displaying real backbone. The Aland Islands, an autonomous, demilitarized zone in the Baltic between Finland and Sweden are refusing to ratify the Lisbon Treaty unless four demands are meet.
The Aland Islands parliament wants an MEP, a seat on the European Council of Ministers, a role in controlling subsidiarity, and more speaking rights within EU power structures.
Unlike Ireland the Aland Islands government is not embarrassed to be holding up EU ratification but is actively negotiating concessions.