Constituent country is a term sometimes used in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger political entity, such as a sovereign state. The term constituent country does not have any defined legal meaning, and is used simply to refer to a country which is a constituent part of something else.
In unitary states
The Danish Realm consists of three constituent parts, each part sometimes referred to as a country:
However, this terminology is not consistent. The Faroes are also referred to as a "self-governing territory" or similar by (e.g.) the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands and the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Similarly, the Danish Government also refers to Greenland as an "autonomous province" and neither of the laws forming Greenland's constitution refer to Greenland as a country.
In 2004, the French overseas collectivity of French Polynesia was legally designated as a pays d'outre-mer au sein de la République, translated as an "overseas country inside the Republic". The Constitutional Council of France ruled that this was merely a change of appellation and did not represent a constitutional change in legal status.
From 10 October 2010, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four countries:
Each is expressly designated as a land in Dutch law by the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Unlike the German and Austrian Bundesländer, landen is consistently translated as "countries" by the Dutch government.
The Realm of New Zealand consists of three parts usually referred to as countries:
However, the kingdom itself is a unitary one and not a personal union. The principality of Wales ceased to exist in 1542, the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707, and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801. Further, the word country does not always appear in the acts of union which established the modern nation. The term can be particularly controversial when applied to Northern Ireland, which was created when Ireland was partitioned in 1921.
Northern Ireland had a devolved parliament from 1921–73 and an assembly from 1973–74, 1982–86, and 1999 to the present. After referenda in Wales and Scotland in 1997, new devolved governments were created in Scotland, Wales but not England, which remains directly under the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London.
In federal states
|Map of the Union Republics from 1956-1991
|Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic||1922||147,386,000||51.40||17,075,400||76.62||Moscow||Russia||1|
|Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic||1922||51,706,746||18.03||603,700||2.71||Kiev
(Kharkov before 1934)
|Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic||1924||19,906,000||6.94||447,400||2.01||Tashkent
(Samarkand before 1930)
|Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic||1936||16,711,900||5.83||2,727,300||12.24||Alma-Ata||Kazakhstan||5|
|Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic||1922||10,151,806||3.54||207,600||0.93||Minsk||Belarus||3|
|Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic||1936||7,037,900||2.45||86,600||0.39||Baku||Azerbaijan||7|
|Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic||1936||5,400,841||1.88||69,700||0.31||Tbilisi||Georgia||6|
|Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic||1929||5,112,000||1.78||143,100||0.64||Dushanbe||Tajikistan||12|
|Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic||1940||4,337,600||1.51||33,843||0.15||Kishinev||Moldova||9|
|Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic||1936||4,257,800||1.48||198,500||0.89||Frunze||Kyrgyzstan||11|
|Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic||1940||3,689,779||1.29||65,200||0.29||Vilnius||Lithuania||8|
|Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic||1924||3,522,700||1.23||488,100||2.19||Ashkhabad||Turkmenistan||14|
|Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic||1936||3,287,700||1.15||29,800||0.13||Yerevan||Armenia||13|
|Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic||1940||2,666,567||0.93||64,589||0.29||Riga||Latvia||10|
|Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic||1940||1,565,662||0.55||45,226||0.20||Tallinn||Estonia||15|
Germany and Austria
The states of Germany and of Austria are referred to as Bundesländer ("Federal Lands") and Gliedstaaten ("Member States") in German, a usage implying their sovereignty in a manner parallel to the American use of "states" (German: Bundesstaaten and Gliedstaaten). However, they are never considered countries in their own right and are referred to as Bundesländer or terms such as "states" in other languages to avoid confusion.
The island of Nevis has a constitutionally guaranteed right to secede from the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis and thereby become a sovereign country. This is stipulated in section 113 of the Kittian/Nevisian Constitution. An independence referendum was held in Nevis on 10 August 1998. With 62% support amongst Nevisian voters, it fell slightly short of the constitutionally required two-thirds majority support necessary. In view of the constitutional position, both St. Kitts and Nevis could be regarded as constituent countries of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Associated state
- Constituent state
- Federal state
- Regional state
- Political union
- The West Nordic Council. website. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Factsheet Denmark: Greenland.
- Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands. "About the Faroe Islands". Retrieved 8 March 2011
- Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Factsheet Denmark – the Faroes.
- Danish Government.[dubious ] "Denmark in Brief".
- The "Act on Greenland Self-Government 2008" refers to Greenland as a "people" and the "Greenland Home Rule Act 1978" referred to Greenland as a "community".
- "Loi organique n°2004-192 du 27 février 2004" (in (French)). Legifrance.gouv.fr. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Regions and territories: French Polynesia BBC, 11 December 2010, retrieved 8 March 2011
- "Décision n° 2004-490 DC du 12 février 2004". Conseil-constitutionnel.fr. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Netherlands Antilles no more - Stabroek News - Guyana". Stabroek News. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Article 1 of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands". Lexius.nl. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations -Aruba". English.minbzk.nl. 2003-01-24. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- St Martin News Network 18 November 2010
- "Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations - New Status". English.minbzk.nl. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Cook Islands Government. "The Cook Islands Government Online". Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Australian Government. "AusAid". Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "Niue". Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Constitution of the Cook Islands".
- "Constitution of Niue".
- "New Zealand legislation - Cook Islands".
- "New Zealand legislation - Niue".
- Number 10.gov.uk. "Countries within a Country."[dead link]
- Office for National Statistics. "Glossary".
- Statistics.gov.uk. "2001 British Census".[dead link]
- British Embassy in the United States of America. "Countries in the UK".[dead link]
- European parliament: Resolution on the situation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (No C 42/78) (1983). Official Journal of the European Communities. European Parliament.
- Aust, Anthony (2005). Handbook of International Law. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53034-7.
- Ziemele, Ineta (2005). State Continuity and Nationality: The Baltic States and Russia. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 90-04-14295-9.
- Constitution of the Federation of Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis
- Electoral Office - Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis