Illegal hydrocarbon exploration and drilling by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean
Question for written answer E-003506/2020/rev.1
to the Council
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL), Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL), Konstantinos Arvanitis (GUE/NGL), Elena Kountoura (GUE/NGL), Petros Kokkalis (GUE/NGL), Alexis Georgoulis (GUE/NGL)
At a critical time for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is continuing its acts of provocation, announcing that its state oil company, TRAO, will soon begin hydrocarbon exploration and drilling in blocks 15 and 20, located south of Crete and within the coastal zone of Crete and the Greek continental shelf, respectively. Greece published the coordinates of these blocks in the Official Journal of the EU of 13.11.2014 and the Greek State awarded concessions for them to the companies Exxon-Mobil, Total and Elpe on 27.6.2019. These illegal actions by Turkey, which has not signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are the result of its military involvement in the region and the Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea, characterised as illegal by the Council in its Conclusions of December 2019. At the same time, TRAO has already illegally applied for a permit for exploration work and extraction in 7 locations located within the Greek and Cypriot continental shelf, east of Crete and Rhodes and west of Cyprus.
Will the Council say:
What measures does it intend to take to address the above illegal actions within the Greek and Cypriot continental shelf and Greece’s coastal zone, which violate International Maritime Law, the sovereignty of EU Member States and the principle of good neighbourly relations?
-  Notice from the Government of the Hellenic Republic concerning Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions for granting and using authorisations for the prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons (OJ C 400, 13.11.2014, p. 4).
-  European Council meeting (12 December 2019) - Conclusions