“The external borders of the EU” 18/2/2019

As part of the training seminar “Management of the EU’s external borders in the Eastern Mediterranean”, the 3rd session entitled “The external borders of the EU” was held on Monday, February 18th, 2019. The focus of the discussion was the existence, or not, of substantial European borders, with particular emphasis on the common fisheries policy, the common currency and the prospect of a common European defense and security policy.

The session began with Mr Theodoros Katsoufros’, Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence Researcher, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Former member of the European Court Justice

 reference to the EU’s common fisheries policy. He noted the rights, obligations and ambiguities arising from the EU’s legal framework. He then referred to statements made by noted political figures supporting the recognition of solid European borders. Along the way, he switched to Greek-Turkish disputes and international conflicting fishing interests. He also highlighted the difficulties in the Eastern Mediterranean and the objective of jointly establishing fishing zones.

Ms. Maria-Meng Papantoni Associate Professor of European Law at the Panteion University of Athens then examined the EU’s functions as an international organization that produces justice and has its own instruments. She began her analysis with the historical retrospection from the Treaty of Rome, and the internal market, to the Treaty of Lisbon and the shaping of a common currency. However, she also noted the differences between the Member States considering the notions of capital, persons, services and goods.

Associate Professor of University of Athens Antonia Zervaki focused on the concept of maritime spatial planning by referring to the relevant directive. He analyzed the respective dimensions, as well as, the objectives and challenges that have arisen. He also stressed the existing security requirements without a relevant reference to the concept of security against terrorism and organized crime. Finally, he referred to the late implementation of the Directive in Greece and Cyprus and the gaps in the Directive in relation to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Finally, Mr. Petros Violakis, Phd University of Exeter, raised questions about the existence of European defense and security. He stressed the need to understand the complexity and difficulty of debate at a European level. He also explained the notion of Europeanisation and the time required for the transition from a national to an international level. Concluding, Dr Violakis referred to the migration issue and its existence as a driving force for deeper co-operation within the European borders.

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