“External borders in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean: an General Overview” 4/2/2019

In the framework of the training seminar “Management of the EU’s external borders in the Eastern Mediterranean”, the 1st session entitled “External borders in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean: an General Overview” was successfully held on 4 February 2019.

The conversation began with the question raised by Professor Yannis Valinakis, President of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence at the University of Athens, regarding the identification of the national borders of Greece with the European borders.

Mr. Ioannis Stribis Assistant Professor at the University of the Aegean Programme Director of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence of the University of Athens analyzed the concepts of territorial sovereignty, integrity and inviolability of the border, including the definition, the meaning and the types of borders, with examples from the Greek frontiers. The first speaker also referred to the demarcation, delimitation and management of the land borders of Greece, with emphasis on the Greek-Turkish land borders, as well as on the creation and settlement of border incidents.

Professor of International and European Studies at the University of Athens, Ms Charitini Dipla in her presentation focused on the maritime frontier, starting from the multi-zone approach of the law of the sea. She pointed out the difficulties that arise due to the geographical tightness in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. In addition, she examined the case of the continental shelf of the Eastern Aegean islands and the Turkish challenges. In conclusion, she took note of Greece’s prospects for maritime delimitation with third countries such as Libya, Egypt and Albania, referring at the same time at the importance of Greek-Turkish disputes.

The final speaker, Mr. Kostas Ifantis, Professor of Panteion University and Kadir Has University, Secretary General of the European Center for Excellence Jean Monnet focused on Greek-Turkish relations, mainly after the AKP’s rise to power. He referred to Turkey’s nationalism as an effort by Erdogan to strengthen his position and examined the prospects for progress in addressing the issues of violations of Turkey’s border and border claims, which are not at present very promising.

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