Aland. In January, Å introduced a total ban on the sale of snuff on Åland ferries, after the EU Commission brought Finland to the European Court of Justice with a fine of two million euros in fines. The Åland Ferries’ sale of snuff in Swedish water was considered to violate the EU snuff ban, despite Sweden having exceptions. The new Åland Prohibition Act caused the European Commission to close the process in the spring and reduce the threat of fines.
But the Åland shipowners counted on major financial losses as snus sales ceased. Eckerö Linjen therefore decided to switch to the Swedish flag in order to continue to sell snus on Swedish water. Viking Line also announced that a new vessel under construction would be registered in Sweden.
Å’s Landscape Board appealed to the Government of Finland to work with the EU to allow snus sales to be permitted on Swedish water for all vessels regardless of flag. It was believed that the ban on non-Swedish vessels violated EU competition law.
The Landskapsstyrelsen appointed a language council that would monitor that the law on Å’s position as monolingual Swedish landscape is followed. During the year, the Finnish Ombudsman invited the Finnish government authorities to use Swedish in their communication with the Åland authorities. JO had found that this requirement in the Åland Autonomy Act was not always complied with.
In May, Crown Princess Victoria made the first official Swedish royal visit to the Å since the landscape gained autonomy in 1921.