Regardless of the referendum's outcome Åland's Autonomy Policy Committee has been pressuring the government in Helsinki to enable necessary legislation for Åland to a take part in the European elections in 2019.
"Indeed, we have already discussed this with the local government. We have decided to immediately challenge Finland's central government if Brexit becomes a fact," local council Katrin Sjögren told newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.
The Åland Islands are an autonomous and demilitarized region of Finland, lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. The archipelago of roughly 30,000 is Finland's only region to have Swedish as the only official language.
This unparalleled level of autonomy was obtained after Finland declared its independence in 1917. At the time, the Swedish-speaking islanders voted overwhelmingly to leave and join Sweden. Finland refused to give up sovereignty, and the League of Nations allowed Helsinki to keep the islands as long as they were granted significant rights and protections.
The subsequent compromise has lasted for almost a century. Some islanders have nevertheless been complaining about the increased pressure from Helsinki. Correspondingly, the newly-founded and independence-seeking party Future of Åland, which advocates a sovereign microstate, has been gaining momentum in the local elections.