“Managing the EU’s External Borders in the Eastern Mediterranean” 16/4/2018
The first session of the training seminar entitled “General Introduction – External Security, Energy & Maritime Zones at the EU’s External Borders in the Eastern Mediterranean” organized by the University of Athens’s Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence, took place on Monday, April 16, 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hall “G. Kranidiotis”.
The event was coordinated by Prof. Yannis Valinakis, President of the European Center of Excellence Jean Monnet of the University of Athens. The keynote address of the day was made by Mr. Ioannis Amanatidis, Deputy Foreign Minister, who supported the position of the Ministry that Greek borders are also European borders. The combination of inland and island territory that forms the European border of Greece-Cyprus is not only the border of the European Union in the Eastern Mediterranean, but at the same time delimits the political-geographical area founded and governed by the principles and values of Greek and European culture. Mr Amanatidis also stressed the need for coordination at European level to tackle refugee and migration flows, while he also referred to the role of the Greek Police and the Coast Guard in carrying out the difficult task they have undertaken, together with Frontex. Turkey’s special role in stopping the flow was also noted.
Next speaker Mr. Angelos Syrigos, Associate Professor of International Law & Foreign Policy at Panteion University focused on Turkey’s claims to the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr. Konstantinos Filis, Research Director of the Institute of International Relations, referred to the European Union’s energy security, and how it is associated with potential threats and opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Finally, Ms. Maria Gavouneli, Assistant Professor of International Law at the University of Athens raised questions of Sea Law making with particular reference to corresponding decisions of international justice. She specifically referred to the 1976 case of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which deals with the Aegean continental shelf, as well as the case of Guyana v. Suriname (2007). These cases have been presented in order to better understand the case of the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of its legal dimension with regard to the rights to research and exploit submarine wealth.