“Challenges, threats and violations of the external borders in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean (I)” 25/2/2019

The 4th session of the Seminar “The European Migration Management in the Eastern Mediterranean: E.E, Turkey and Greece ” which was titled “Challenges, threats and violations of the external borders in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean (I)” took place on February 25, 2019. Coordinator was Professor Yannis Valinakis, President of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence.

The discussion began with Lieutenant Theodoros Piskioulopoulos (Chief Executive Officer of Hellenic National Defence General Staff A1 Division) , who discussed the actions of the Armed Forces on the challenges at the external borders of the Aegean and the wider East Mediterranean region. An extensive review was also made on the actions against threats, both at national and European level, and the three pillars of military and strategic action, the EU, NATO and, most importantly, the national pillar.

The next speaker Dr. Evdokia Fournatzopoulou Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the challenges-threats and violations of national sovereignty and jurisdiction over the airspace of the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr. Fournatzopoulou also mentioned the ways in which Turkey violated Greek national sovereignty, and clarified the difference between the violation of national sovereignty and the breach of air navigation legislation. The presentation ended with examples of Turkish threats and violations, as well as with particular reference to the research and rescue conditions in the region.

Moving on, Lieutenant General, Konstantinos Gialelis (Director of Fisheries Control of the Hellenic Armed Forces – ACT) focused in his presentation on the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the challenges of the neighboring country. The speech began with the reference to the illegal acts of Turkish fishermen within the National Spatial Waters (HWH), while extensive reference was also made to the impact of these activities on Greece. A brief description of the legal framework governing fisheries and the relevant provisions followed, with particular focus on the Fisheries Control Regulation.

The fourth and last speaker of the meeting, Deputy Prosecutor, Ms. Ourania Stathea, raised the question of whether a violation of the borders could be tackled with legal measures. Through a summary of the legal provisions that foresee and punish the felony of attacking the international peace of the country, Ms. Stathea mentioned examples of the recent Greek history (Immigration and Ocalan case) and their relationship with the enforcement of Article 140 of the criminal code.

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