The governments of Rome and Athens have drawn the boundaries of their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), establishing the geographical limits which Italy and Greece will have to follow in exploiting the resources present. Fair government decision. Here because. The analysis by Germano Dottori, Limes scientific advisor and professor of strategic studies at Luiss
The visit to Athens by our Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, was monitored by the Italian media especially in relation to the well-known story of the closure of the Greek borders to our tourists: five million people awaited confirmation that they could spend the their holidays in some beautiful island of the Aegean or the Ionian Sea.
However, this was not the most important dossier on the table. Italy and Greece had to regulate their interests in the adjoining stretches of sea where they both boast. And this resulted in a passage of historical relevance, since the governments of Rome and Athens have taken steps to trace the borders of the respective Exclusive Economic Zones, or EEZs, thus establishing the geographical limits which Italy and Greece will have to follow in exploiting the resources present .
The importance of the Italian move lies in the fact that in Athens Minister Di Maio has actually started a process that should lead to the progressive definition of the EEZ by our country.
In practice, Italy has started to plant poles at sea, formalizing an extension of its maritime sovereignty which had hitherto been renounced in order not to encourage other coastal States to do the same, in the presumption that the interests of some fisherman from our country.
This turnaround had already been discussed informally during the negotiations that preceded the formation of the yellow-green government in the spring of 2018, but the matter was not followed up any more.
The Italian line on the EEZ has, however, changed not by virtue of some ideological yielding to sovereignty, but on decidedly more pragmatic bases, in reaction to the choice of other countries to delimit their own in ways that had raised apprehension.
Before the Covid-19 compromised the cost-effectiveness of the EastMed project, for example, the agreement between Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Accord had also raised concerns in Rome.
Similarly, the Sardinians had witnessed with some dismay the move with which Algeria had unilaterally proclaimed its EEZ in turn, placing its borders close to their shores.
In practice, the assumptions that had suggested to Italy not to declare its EEZ in order not to induce other States to do the same had ceased to exist.
Di Maio's decision should therefore be welcomed. In fact, remaining inert could have led to the compromise of important current and future national interests, especially in terms of the cultivation of energy resources with which the subsoil of the Mediterranean basin is rich.
The Italian proclamation of the EEZ will not imply any limitation to the right of navigation of ships flying the foreign flag, nor to the right to lay submarine cables. It will not have particular repercussions even from the point of view of the obligations connected with the safeguarding of human life at sea, which can be traced back to general rules of universal value, to which are added those deriving from the signing of some specific agreements on the so-called "Search and Rescue" areas.
Pursuant to article 80 of the Constitution, yesterday's Italian-Greek agreement should be examined by Parliament, where, moreover, the process of a bill of law presented last year by the pentastellate deputy Iolanda Di Stasio has already started. to authorize the government to declare the Italian EEZ according to the criteria established by the Montego Bay Convention.
The progressive territorialisation of the sea is certainly a consequence of the disintegration of the old international order inherited from the Cold War, which has led to a strong growth in geopolitical competition even among medium-sized powers. Italy could not continue to escape from it without paying a price.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/perche-e-buona-la-mossa-del-governo-con-la-grecia-sulle-zee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=perche-e-buona-la-mossa-del-governo-con-la-grecia-sulle-zee on Wed, 10 Jun 2020 13:50:25 +0000.