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Turkey: Remodelling the eastern Mediterranean: Conflicting exploration of natural gas reserves

04-09-2020

Since the discovery of offshore natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean in the early 2000s, Turkey has challenged its neighbours with regard to international law and the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and destabilised the whole region through its illegal drilling and military interventions. Ankara has used military force and intimidation, including repeated violations of the territorial waters and airspaces of neighbouring countries. Ankara has also used bilateral ...

Since the discovery of offshore natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean in the early 2000s, Turkey has challenged its neighbours with regard to international law and the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and destabilised the whole region through its illegal drilling and military interventions. Ankara has used military force and intimidation, including repeated violations of the territorial waters and airspaces of neighbouring countries. Ankara has also used bilateral deals, such as its November 2019 memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which purports to determine new maritime boundaries. The Turkey-Libya MoU effectively drew a dividing line between the eastern and western parts of the Mediterranean, threatening maritime security, natural gas exploration and new infrastructures such as the EastMed pipeline. Turkey's behaviour, beyond its geo-economic interests, reflects a more ambitious geopolitical 'neo-Ottoman' agenda intent on remodelling the whole region by spreading the country's influence from northern Iraq and Syria to Libya and leaving behind the Kemalist tradition of secularism and regional neutrality. Tensions in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean have not been conducive to good neighbourly relations. The international community has strongly condemned Turkey's behaviour. Taking into account Turkey's poor track record in upholding human rights and the rule of law, the European Union has suspended accession negotiations and all pre-accession funds under the planned new multiannual financial framework for 2021 to 2027. The European Parliament has condemned Turkey's illegal drilling activities as well as its military interventions in the region.

International Agreements in Progress: Towards a fisheries agreement with Kenya

17-05-2017

In July 2016, the Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to begin negotiations, on behalf of the EU, for the conclusion of a fisheries agreement and protocol with Kenya. The negotiations are planned for the coming months. This would be the first ever EU fisheries agreement with Kenya, and would complement the regional network of agreements previously concluded in the western Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Mauritius). The agreements allow the EU fleet ...

In July 2016, the Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to begin negotiations, on behalf of the EU, for the conclusion of a fisheries agreement and protocol with Kenya. The negotiations are planned for the coming months. This would be the first ever EU fisheries agreement with Kenya, and would complement the regional network of agreements previously concluded in the western Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Mauritius). The agreements allow the EU fleet to pursue tuna migration in the waters of the countries concerned, in exchange for a financial contribution covering access to their waters and support for their fisheries sector. The EU tuna fleet in the region includes vessels from Spain, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Italy. While some of the activities of these vessels take place in the framework of EU fisheries agreements, they also operate, to a significant extent, in the high seas. In addition, a number of them also have access to the waters of third countries with which the EU does not have fisheries agreements, on the basis of private agreements. This is the case of Kenya's waters, where EU vessels have long had access through annual authorisations provided by the Kenyan authorities.

Energy: a shaping factor for regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean?

16-05-2017

Since 2010 the Eastern Mediterranean region has become a hotspot of international energy discussions due to a series of gas discoveries in the offshore of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt. To exploit this gas potential, a number of export options have progressively been discussed, alongside new regional cooperation scenarios. Hopes have also been expressed about the potential role of new gas discoveries in strengthening not only the regional energy cooperation, but also the overall regional economic and ...

Since 2010 the Eastern Mediterranean region has become a hotspot of international energy discussions due to a series of gas discoveries in the offshore of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt. To exploit this gas potential, a number of export options have progressively been discussed, alongside new regional cooperation scenarios. Hopes have also been expressed about the potential role of new gas discoveries in strengthening not only the regional energy cooperation, but also the overall regional economic and political stability. However, initial expectations largely cooled down over time, particularly due to delays in investment decision in Israel and the downward revision of gas resources in Cyprus. These developments even raised scepticism about the idea of the Eastern Mediterranean becoming a sizeable gas-exporting region. But initial expectations were revived in 2015, after the discovery of the large Zohr gas field in offshore Egypt. Considering its large size, this discovery has reshaped the regional gas outlook, and has also raised new regional cooperation prospects. However, multiple lines of conflict in the region continue to make future Eastern Mediterranean gas activities a major geopolitical issue. This study seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of all these developments, with the ultimate aim of assessing the realistic implications of regional gas discoveries for both Eastern Mediterranean countries and the EU.

Vanjski autor

Simone TAGLIAPIETRA

RESEARCH FOR REGI COMMITTEE - The economic, social and territorial situation of the Azores (Portugal)

14-04-2017

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the visit to the Azores (Portugal) of 22 to 26 May 2017 of a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development, the islands visited being São Miguel and Terceira.

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the visit to the Azores (Portugal) of 22 to 26 May 2017 of a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development, the islands visited being São Miguel and Terceira.

Fisheries in Reunion

15-09-2015

European outermost regions including Reunion are important providers of seafood to the Europeans. Adversely, fisheries play an important role in the economy of insular regions. These remote territories experience specific hardships in relation to their economic development, due to their location, limited range of activities in which they can sustain a competitive advantage. The recent EU fisheries policy change and the expected national compensation scheme for the outermost regions are to remedy ...

European outermost regions including Reunion are important providers of seafood to the Europeans. Adversely, fisheries play an important role in the economy of insular regions. These remote territories experience specific hardships in relation to their economic development, due to their location, limited range of activities in which they can sustain a competitive advantage. The recent EU fisheries policy change and the expected national compensation scheme for the outermost regions are to remedy these difficulties and promote further integration to the single market. Whether these respond the islanders' needs is the question to ask.

The Struggle for the Control of East China Sea

27-08-2014

A dispute that has simmered for more than 40 years between Japan and China (and Taiwan) has flared up, bringing Beijing and Tokyo close to a potentially devastating armed confrontation. At issue is the control of small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known by the Japanese as the Senkaku Islands and by the Chinese as the Diaoyu Islands. In recent years China has radically changed its approach, moving from the relatively moderate and reasonable attitude to world affairs it had adopted ...

A dispute that has simmered for more than 40 years between Japan and China (and Taiwan) has flared up, bringing Beijing and Tokyo close to a potentially devastating armed confrontation. At issue is the control of small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known by the Japanese as the Senkaku Islands and by the Chinese as the Diaoyu Islands. In recent years China has radically changed its approach, moving from the relatively moderate and reasonable attitude to world affairs it had adopted for decades to a very assertive foreign policy aimed at, inter alia, bolstering its military and political role in Asia and securing key strategic positions off its coastline. China has unilaterally attempted to modify the status quo in the region to conform to an old vision of Asia, in which Imperial China played a hegemonic role. With increasing frequency, China’s Communist Party has played the ‘nationalism’ card to bolster its domestic legitimacy. For its part, Japan appears unready to accept the Chinese claim over the desolate, barren archipelago, and has refused even to acknowledge the dispute’s existence. The quarrel has resuscitated nationalist sentiments in an otherwise pacifist Japan, even leading to a revision of the constitution to allow the Japanese armed forces to assist allies, and to an expansion of the country’s military cooperation with the US.

The Prospect of Eastern Mediterranean Gas Production: An Alternative Energy Supplier for the EU?

15-04-2014

Israeli gas discoveries in 2009 and 2010 have transformed the Eastern Mediterranean into a natural gas producing region and a potential energy exporter for European and Asian markets. However, the turbulent political situation in Egypt, the Syrian civil war, the tensions between Israel and Gaza, the long-lasting dispute between Turkey and Cyprus, and the maritime border disputes cast a shadow on this economic opportunity. Moreover, the gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean is at an infant stage ...

Israeli gas discoveries in 2009 and 2010 have transformed the Eastern Mediterranean into a natural gas producing region and a potential energy exporter for European and Asian markets. However, the turbulent political situation in Egypt, the Syrian civil war, the tensions between Israel and Gaza, the long-lasting dispute between Turkey and Cyprus, and the maritime border disputes cast a shadow on this economic opportunity. Moreover, the gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean is at an infant stage, and the countries concerned seem unable to coordinate their plans for future exports. Global actors are ready to exploit the Eastern Mediterranean’s strategic implications. Russia aims to safeguard its gas monopoly, the United States to support its business interest, and Europe to increase its energy security and reduce dependence on Russia in the light of the Crimean crisis. In this context, the European Union should back the strategic triangle of Israel, Cyprus and Turkey as a first step towards the construction of an Eastern Mediterranean energy corridor.

Fisheries Co-Operation with Iceland and Norway

15-11-2013

This Note examines the situation in the fishery for highly migratory fish stocks in the North East Atlantic. It presents an overview of the legislation for management of the stocks and considers two case studies: for Herring and Mackerel. It looks at the potential impact of the reformed CFP and considers how future co-operation could be achieved among the Coastal States with a stake in the fishery for mutual benefit.

This Note examines the situation in the fishery for highly migratory fish stocks in the North East Atlantic. It presents an overview of the legislation for management of the stocks and considers two case studies: for Herring and Mackerel. It looks at the potential impact of the reformed CFP and considers how future co-operation could be achieved among the Coastal States with a stake in the fishery for mutual benefit.

Vanjski autor

P. E. Rodgers (Erinshore Economics Limited)

Spatial planning for the 'blue economy': Maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management

02-05-2013

The increasing use of seas and coasts for economic activities, the 'blue economy,' leads to growing and competing demands for maritime space. Maritime spatial planning (MSP) is a relatively new approach to overall planning of the use of seas and coastal areas. In March 2013, the European Commission proposed a Directive that would oblige Member States to make maritime spatial plans and coordinate them with other MS.

The increasing use of seas and coasts for economic activities, the 'blue economy,' leads to growing and competing demands for maritime space. Maritime spatial planning (MSP) is a relatively new approach to overall planning of the use of seas and coastal areas. In March 2013, the European Commission proposed a Directive that would oblige Member States to make maritime spatial plans and coordinate them with other MS.

Legal Implications of the Nord Stream Project

01-04-2008

Vanjski autor

Robert Lee, Tamara Egede, Lori Frater and Steven Vaughan Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) Cardiff University Cardiff CF10 3 AX Wales United Kingdom

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