“Challenges, threats and violations of the external borders in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean (II)” 4/3/2019
The 5th session “Challenges, threats and violations of the external borders in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean (II)” was successfully held on Monday, March 4, 2019. Coordinator was Professor Yannis Valinakis, President of the Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence.
The seminar began with the first speaker Dr Thanos Dockos, Director General Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) , who set the framework for the subsequent presentations, highlighting the importance of border protection and its national dimension. Dr. Dockos referred to the difficulties of proper border surveillance and how this could be combined -or not- with NATO’s presence in the region. Regarding the future, he focused on two problems that will undermine border security, the external factor, such as terrorism, and the ongoing threats and disputes in the Aegean area.
Next speaker, General Michail Kostarakos, Chief of Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and former EU Military Committee Chairman , began his presentation by pointing out that we are in the midst of major geopolitical rearrangements. In his presentation he emphasized on the statistical increase of Turkish threats and violations in the Aegean Sea, especially in the period of 2015-2016, which, in turns, resulted in unnecessary political movements on Greece’s part. Concluding, Mr Kostarakos stressed the importance of the creation of a European Army, with the aim to cover the needs of protection and security at the EU’s external borders, where Greece is located.
The conversation came to an and with the speech of ret. Brigadier General and NATO Representative , Mr. Panayiotis Theodorakidis, who began with a historical retrospection on the formation of the Greek borders, with particular reference to the definition of the Exclusive Economic Zone. Moreover, the decision of the Military Committee of NATO (MC 66/1) of 1960, which states that for the purposes of the alliance, the maritime and air borders of the Member States are identical. Lastly, he stressed the need for change is necessary, while he proposed the creation of a European FIR.