The exclusive economic zone is established on the basis of an express proclamation by the coastal state concerned. E The continental shelf includes the seabed and subsoil beyond the outer limit of the territorial sea. It is defined as the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance Article 76, para.
In the continental shelf, the coastal state exercises sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources Article 77, para. The rights of the coastal state over the continental shelf do not affect the legal status of the superjacent waters Article 78, para. Under Article of the UNCLOS, enclosed or semi-enclosed sea means a gulf, basin or sea surrounded by two or more states and connected to another sea or the ocean by a narrow outlet or consisting entirely or primarily of the territorial seas and exclusive economic zones of two or more coastal states.
Nobody knows what the difference between sovereign rights and jurisdiction is. They are defined as the living organism of the seabed and subsoil which, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil Article 77, para.
Sedentary species are subject to the sovereign rights of the coastal state, as are the mineral resources of the continental shelf. Policy Brief F The marine areas located beyond the zones subject to national jurisdiction constitute the high seas, that is defined as all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a state, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic state Article On the high seas, jurisdiction over ships is exercised by the state that has granted its flag to them.
The high seas are subject to a regime of freedom that encompasses different activities: 1. The high seas are open to all states, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law.
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These freedoms shall be exercised by all states with due regard for the interests of other states in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas Article For geographical reasons, no seabed falling under the Area regime exists in the Mediterranean Sea. In this semi-enclosed sea there is no point that is located at a distance of more than n. General Rules on Maritime Delimitations The UNCLOS contains three provisions on maritime delimitations, namely Article 15 relating to the territorial sea, Article 74 relating to the exclusive economic zone, and Article 83 relating to the continental shelf.
A As regards the delimitation of territorial seas, Article 15 provides as follows: Where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of the two states is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest point on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two states is measured.
The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two states in a way which is at variance therewith. Article 15, which is based on Article 12, para. It gives priority to a delimitation effected by the equidistance line also called the median line , which is a sort of geometrical balance of the projections into the sea of the coastlines of the states involved in a maritime delimitation. However indented or fringed by islands the coastlines involved in delimitation may be, there is always one and only one equidistance line, whose construction results from geometry and can be effected through graphic or analytical methods.
An adjusted or modified equidistance line is an equidistance line, either strict or simplified, in the drawing of which certain relevant geographical features have not been given their full potential effect. The method is based on the determination of the center of a number of circles tangential to the coasts of the two states. Every circle touches alternatively two basepoints on the coasts of one state and one basepoint on the coast of the other state. The delimitation ends if, because of the distance from the coast, no more basepoints can be found or if a basepoint is located on the coast of a third state.
The analytical method, which is effected by means of a computer, is conceptually identical. It has however the advantage of avoiding the imperfections due to the deformation of the cartographic projection or caused by the shrinkage of the paper support. It does not specify what the special circumstances to be taken into consideration actually are. Nor does it clarify how a historic title is to be defined. Nor does it state in what manner, different from equidistance, the delimitation is to be effected if historic title or other special circumstances occur.
B As regards the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf between states with opposite or adjacent coasts, Articles 74 and 83 have an almost identical content, providing as follows: 1. The delimitation of the exclusive economic zone between states with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, as referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution.
Pending agreement as provided for in paragraph 1, the states concerned, in a spirit of understanding and co-operation, shall make every effort to enter into provisional arrangements of a practical nature and, during this transitional period, not to jeopardize or hamper the reaching of the final agreement. Such arrangements shall be without prejudice to the final delimitation. Where there is an agreement in force between the states concerned, questions relating to the delimitation of the exclusive zone shall be defined in accordance with the provisions of that agreement.
Rather than tackling the main substantive issue, they resort to procedural devices. They imply a general obligation of the states concerned to behave in good faith in order to reach an agreement on delimitation, with the consequence that no definitive delimitation can be unilaterally effected by one of the two or more states concerned.
But Articles 74 and 83 do not say what the content of the 9 Article 83 has the same content, with the only change of continental shelf for exclusive economic zone. The reference in para. The reference to the objective of achieving an equitable solution seems also pleonastic, as any agreement that has been freely negotiated by the parties embodies by definition an equitable solution. The assumption in para. The vague content of Articles 74 and 83 may be explained on the basis of two reasons. First, during the negotiations for the UNCLOS, states involved in thorny issues of maritime delimitation strongly opposed specific solutions that could have played in favor of their opposite or adjacent neighboring countries.
Also states facing manifold issues of delimitation, depending on the characteristics of their different coastlines and of those of the different neighboring states concerned, preferred a vague provision that would grant them enough flexibility to be able to play different games in different fields. This explains their choice to leave the very controversial issue of delimitation unresolved and thus to avoid opening a Pandoras box, which could have precluded the adoption of the convention itself or its broad acceptance.
But the vague text of the relevant UNCLOS provisions can be also explained as a consequence of the seminal decision by the International Court of Justice in on the first case of delimitation of the continental shelf ever decided North Sea judgment; Federal Republic of Germany v. Denmark and Federal Republic of Germany v. Policy Brief shelf appertaining to such states shall be determined by agreement between them. In the absence of agreement, and unless another boundary line is justified by special circumstances, the boundary is the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each state is measured Article 6, para.
The C. But the regime resulting from the Geneva Convention also left room for a certain margin of flexibility. Exceptions to the rule of the equidistance line were envisaged if special circumstances but no answer was provided as to what such circumstances should be justified another boundary line but no answer was provided as to what such line should be. When deciding the North Sea cases, the court disregarded a delimitation based on the equidistance line which, in the specific case, would have led to an inequitable result due to the concavity of the coastline of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The court found that the use of the method of equidistance was not obligatory under customary international law and that there was no single method of delimitation that was in all circumstances obligatory for the parties concerned. In departing from geometry that is the equidistance line ,11 the court developed the theory of equity or equitable principles. The key to the reasoning lies in a carefully worded passage of the North Sea judgment: In short, it is not a question of applying equity simply as a matter of abstract justice, but of applying a rule of law which itself requires the application of equitable principles.
To avoid an inequitable result, the court decided for a delimitation effected under a method different from equidistance, the method of proportionality, whereby a reasonable degree If the method of proportionality is applied, what influences the boundary line, instead of the shape, is the length of a coastline, as measured according to its general direction and not following all the sinuosities.
The concavity of the German coast can be seen as a special circumstance that calls for a delimitation effected under a method different from equidistance. But the court preferred to broaden the scope of the rule on maritime delimitations by referring to the concept of equitable principles. After the judgment, several subsequent cases were adjudicated by the International Court of Justice14 international arbitral tribunals15 and, lastly the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. In principle, the distinction between the general rule of the equitable solution and the specific methods of delimitation was left unchanged.
But, in practice, with the passing of time, this distinction is becoming more and more blurred. Some methods such as proportionality, reduced effect of islands, shifting of the median line, corridors, enclaves have been elaborated by international courts and have in fact been upgraded from the condition of technical devices into that of rules applying where the relevant geographic circumstances occur.
In several decisions, international courts have chosen to draw first an equidistance line and then to consider whether there were factors calling for the adjustment or shifting of that line in order to achieve an equitable result. This may be seen as 13 In fact, also the method of proportionality, while less precise than equidistance, is based on geography and geometry.
Equidistance itself was not completely discarded by the court, but it was considered as one among the various methods that could be employed to delimit: The parties are under an obligation to act in such a way that, in the particular case, and taking all the circumstances into account, equitable principles are applied, - for this purpose the equidistance method can be used, but other methods exist and may be employed, alone or in combination, according to the areas involved North Sea judgment, para.
North Sea judgment, para. From the logical viewpoint, the best way to determine the equity of a solution is to draw the equidistance line, as a first criterion for reference, and then to evaluate whether such a delimitation does lead to an equitable solution or, on the contrary, special circumstance suggest another delimitation line. The first logical step in any process of delimitation is the drawing of the equidistance line, even if the final result may be at variance with such a line. The following conclusions can be drawn from the practice of international courts that have been called upon to give concrete content to the abstract rule providing for the achievement of an equitable solution in the delimitation of the continental shelf or exclusive economic zone The equidistance line plays the role of a basic reference to evaluate whether a delimitation effected on the basis of equidistance leads to an equitable solution.
If not, the equidistance line may be adjusted according to relevant circumstances, in particular geographical circumstances, such as the length and shape of the coastlines or the presence of islands. Islands, which in principle enjoy the same status as continental territories, have been treated in different ways, depending on their location, size, and number: various solutions, such as full effect, reduced effect, no effect, the enclave, the corridor, have been elaborated to deal with the effect of islands on the delimitation line.
Circumstances different from the geographical ones, such as those relating to geology, geomorphology, unity of deposits, history, security, or fishing, can also play a certain role, although to a lesser extent and depending on the peculiar context. Maritime Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea As regards internal waters, Cyprus, Egypt, and Turkey apply legislation measuring the breadth of the territorial sea from straight baselines joining specific points located on the mainland or islands.
The coastal states concerned have established a mile territorial sea, with the exceptions of the United Kingdom 3 n. Five states have established an exclusive economic zone. By Law No. Cyprus proclaimed an exclusive economic zone under the Exclusive Economic Zone Law adopted on April 2, By a framework law adopted on September 19, , Lebanon established its exclusive economic zone. Three annexes define the limits of the zone between Lebanon and, respectively, Syria, Cyprus, and Palestine.
Maritime Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
On July 12, , Israel deposited the list of the geographical coordinates for the delimitation of the northern limit of its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone with the United Nations. The maritime areas belonging to Palestine off the coast of the Gaza Strip, as established under the Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area Cairo, , constitute a special situation in Eastern Mediterranean.
The two British enclaves have a global area of about km and are located at the south and southeast part of the island. A 18 According to the Agreement, Israel shall transfer authority, as far as specified in the Agreement, to the Palestinian Authority. Under Article V, para. Zones K and M are closed areas, in which navigation is restricted to activity of the Israeli Navy.
Zone L is open for fishing, recreational, and economic activities, in accordance with the rules specified in para. Policy Brief provision of the treaty obligates Cyprus not to claim, as part of its territorial sea, the waters adjacent to the two SBAs. It obligates Cyprus not to claim the waters lying between the lines drawn from the four terminal points of the land boundary between Cyprus and the SBAs. It is likely that the implicit objective of this provision is to preserve freedom of military navigation, in particular to avoid the application of the regime of innocent passage to British ships proceeding to or from the SBAs.
The maritime boundary in question is rather unusual insofar as the treaty merely establishes an obligation of one of the parties not to claim as a part of its territorial waters the area lying between four lines drawn from its territory. The extension of the territorial sea claimed by Cyprus is irrelevant.
Also irrelevant is the legal condition of the waters between the lines, which could in principle be either British territorial sea20 or high seas or even, where they are located beyond the mile limit, the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. The boundary lines are composed of 3, 2, 3 and 3 segments, respectively, whose directions are defined by Annex A. The length of the last segment of every line is indefinite.
While in the case of Dhekelia, the lines seem based on equidistance, in the case of Akrotiri, they depart from it and the precise determination of the method used for their drawing remains unclear. Furthermore, while the lines of Akrotiri diverge, the lines of Dhekelia converge at a distance of about 32 n. The coastlines of the parties are opposed and located quite far away one from each other.
They do not present concavities and convexities so marked as to constitute special circumstances. The parties clearly state in the agreement that the delimitation is effected by the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest point on the base line of the two parties Article 1, para.
The shorter length of the coast of Cyprus did not result in any shifting of the equidistant line in favor of Egypt. Either of the parties is bound to notify and consult the other before reaching a final agreement with another state on delimitation in connection with the coordinates of the two terminal points Article 3.
Yet the boundary line reaches and might even bypass the eastern triple point Cyprus - Egypt - Israel.
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The impression is that point 8 is closer to Israel The western terminal point is located far before reaching the triple point Cyprus - Egypt - Turkey. Cyprus - Lebanon In Beirut on January 17, , Cyprus and Lebanon signed an agreement on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones. The coastlines of the parties are opposite, with the relevant coast of Lebanon being longer than the relevant Cypriot coast.
They are located at a distance varying from 90 n. The coast of Lebanon does not present any significant features, apart from a string of tiny islands extending seawards from the Lebanese city of Tripolis, including the Palm Islands Palm, Sanani and Ramkine Islands. The most external of them Ramkine Island , located at about 10 km from the coast, was given full effect for the purpose of drawing the boundary. The relevant coast of Cyprus presents some indentations Larnaka Bay.
The parties deemed it appropriate to specify Article 1, para. Due to the distance between the respective coasts, there cannot be any territorial sea or contiguous zone boundary between Cyprus and Lebanon. The parties clearly state in the agreement that the delimitation is effected on the basis of the median line such that every point along the length of it is equidistant from the nearest point on the baselines of each of the two parties Article 1, para.
In note 2 of the annex, the parties confirm that they will use the same principles for the improvement of the positional accuracy of the median line. The terminal points of the boundary line appear to fall slightly short of the equidistant triple points between Cyprus, Lebanon, and Syria, northwards, and between Cyprus, Israel, and Lebanon, southwards. The position of third states in the region is specifically mentioned in the agreement, which provides in Article 1, para. Under Article 3 of the agreement, the parties are bound to notify and consult each other, before reaching a final agreement with another state on a delimitation of exclusive economic zones relating to the coordinates of the two terminal points.
Cyprus - Israel On December 17, , Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement in Nicosia on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones. It gives the geographical coordinates of twelve points that are joined by the eleven segments of the delimitation line.
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For geographical reasons, the neighboring states concerned implicitly referred to are Lebanon and Egypt. Open Questions of Maritime Delimitation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea A quick look at the map of the area shows that there are a number of maritime delimitation agreements that are still to be negotiated and concluded in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, namely between Greece and Turkey, between Cyprus and Turkey, between Syria and Turkey, between Cyprus and Syria, between Lebanon and Syria, between Israel and Lebanon, between Egypt and Israel, and between Egypt and Greece.
The future maritime boundaries of Palestine have to be added to the list. The Claim by Turkey On March 2, , Turkey sent a note to the United Nations secretary-general stating that it does not recognize the agreement between Cyprus and Egypt27 and reserves all its legal rights related to the delimitation of the maritime areas including the seabed and subsoil and the superjacent waters in the west of the longitude According to the note, the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in areas falling beyond the western part of the longitude , also concerns Turkeys existing ipso facto and ab initio legal and sovereign rights, emanating from the established principles of international law.
The temporary deterioration of Russia-Turkey relations in the aftermath of Ankara's assertive attempt to remind Moscow that is primarily interested in Northern Syria and Iraq, to keep under control the Kurdish separatist activity, by replacing the Assad regime with a Sunni government friendly to its interests, was followed by US mediation in the Ankara-Tel Aviv dispute, aiming at facilitating the pro-Western monetization of EM gas along the lines of constructing a pipeline from Israel to Turkey. Ankara and Tel Aviv finally normalized their fraught relations, mainly because Israel is deeply concerned with limiting Iran regional influence, and Ankara remains on opposing sides with Teheran on the civil strife in Syria.
Israel-Turkey deal, nevertheless, did not prevent the rapid improvement of Turkey-Russia relations in summer , so as to continue the building of the Turkish Stream pipeline, sustain alive Russia's contract to build a nuclear plant in Turkey, and keep collaborating in Syria's war. Moreover, Moscow's tolerance towards Ankara's military operation into Syria territory since August that provokes fury to Washington and increases the tension around strategic issues between Turkey and NATO, aims to encourage a strategic separation between Ankara and Western countries.
Indeed, Gazprom envisages TurkStream as a system that will consist of two sets of The second As of late , Gazprom had reached agreements concerning potential development of both: i. However, these agreements are more akin to initial Memoranda of Understanding than to the kind of final investment decisions. As a matter of fact, gas routing to the markets is the outcome of a power redistribution in the subsystems of: i. Thrace-Aegean, and iii. Dodecanese-Cyprus, with the Kurdish problem as geopolitical factor triggering intense competition between the international power poles of a.
Washington wish the entry into NATO of the above-mentioned countries of Center-West Balkans in close cooperation with France, so as to control Russia's influence extending to the Mediterranean.
Eastern mediterranean energy geostrategy on proposed gas export routes - Notes de la FRS
Given that the East Mediterranean region constitutes a credible alternative source with the potential to help EU diversify its energy sources and reinforce its supply and energy security, it would be wise for Europe that the Fifth Corridor of gas namely the EastMed , is not transported via Turkey, as the Fourth Corridor gas TANAP and TAP pipelines , otherwise EU energy security will be compromised.
Even though a pipeline to Turkey does make economic sense, security concerns that Turkey faces, nullify any economic advantage. Indeed, in Turkey looms the danger of potential internal instability, related to the increasing polarization of political and social attitudes. Furthermore, given that Cyprus, as an EU and Eurozone member, has already proved its usefulness to Europe various fields including its defense policy , in view of the explosive situation in the Middle East and EU urgent need to combat terrorist attacks, Brussels utterly needs the alternative EastMed energy security advantage for itself.
Indeed, Cyprus constitutes the easternmost defense bastion and border of Europe. As a counterweight, after the gradual alienation of Turkey from Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Israel, have materialized in the political, diplomatic, energy and military sectors a strategic alliance backed by both Washington and Brussels. Developments of such strategic magnitude, affect European affairs and interests, in particular, those of Cyprus and Greece.
Both countries are facing since the early 's a revisionist Turkish policy applied in the geographic arc from Western Thrace and the northern Aegean down to the south east Mediterranean, in the Cypriot EEZ For an analysis of the Turkish revisionary politics in the South-East Mediterranean, refer to: Ioannis P.
This policy denies the application of the Lausanne Treaty provisions' in the wider region, in particular referring to Turkey's borders with Greece, Syria, Iraq and Cyprus. So, the three states have created a multipliable power deterministically leading to geostrategic balance, political stability and development in the wider region I. Mazis, I. That was utterly demonstrated in the Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding MoU , signed between the three countries' energy ministers Nicosia, Undeniably, the energy geopolitical factor is the qualitative dynamic catalyst in this tripartite allied relationship, impacted by geography, since Israel, Cyprus and Greece have contiguous EEZs, in which large volumes of energy mixture have been, or are expected to be, discovered, and are working on the potential construction of the EastMed pipeline, project of mutual strategic benefit ibid, p.
Together with Delek Group, these companies have discovered a reported 26 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Leviathan and Tamar fields. Turkey rejects all Cypriot maritime agreements, including those with Israel and Egypt, prompting the latter to voice its support for Nicosia. Egypt has sought to position itself as a potential gas hub. Its two export terminals, Idku and Damietta, would allow Israel and Cyprus to export their gas without having to construct their own terminals. After having reached an EEZ demarcation agreement , Cairo and Nicosia have agreed to permit producers at the Aphrodite field to use its infrastructure for exports Israeli authorities have concluded a similar deal, with the prospects though remaining dim due to an arbitration dispute stemming from the cancellation of the previous deal in So far, the Egyptian industrial group Dolphinus Holding agreed to take 64 bcm from Tamar and Leviathan fields over 10 years.
However, no announcement has been made regarding any potential pipelines, and the deal is only referring to the first and smaller phase of Leviathan. Still, the Egyptian option could eventually entice Israel due to the former's proximity and the prospect of sharing infrastructure 'The Eastern Mediterranean's New Great Game over Natural Gas', Stratfor, 22 February Hydrocarbons discoveries of that scale, have prompted the design of various pipeline projects such as the EastMed pipeline. While the countries expressed hope of signing an intergovernmental agreement on the project in late , no company has yet lent its support to the project on account of critical economic challenges.
In addition, Russia, eager to prevent the entry of new large sources of natural gas to Europe, could reduce the gas price to deter investments. Turkey too, could present a political challenge, especially if the EastMed route traverses Ankara's putative continental shelf area. Nevertheless, in case that the Egyptian government directs the entire quantity of gas from the immense Zohr gas field for domestic consumption, export options towards nearby markets, such as Egypt, are dramatically decreased for Jerusalem and Nicosia.
As a result, turning towards further, geographically, markets is unavoidable, a fact that is favorable for EastMed's prospects. Finally, the systemic geopolitical result of the tripartite alliance, which is geometrically accentuated by the energy geopolitical factor and the EastMed project, is the rapid upgrading of the geopolitical status of Cyprus, Greece and Israel on the peripheral level, in the geopolitical system of the southeast Mediterranean among others, and with the warm blessings of the EU. EastMed will increase EU's energy security, as it is estimated that the Eastern Mediterranean basin contains more than 3.
This pipeline project on the one hand constitutes a qualitative catalyst in the strengthening and deepening of the allied relationship between Greece-Cyprus-Israel in the long term, and on the other will play a very important role in the transport of energy mix and the increase of EU energy security, while the development of the alliance between Athens, Nicosia and Tel Aviv consists an interalia geostrategic counterweight for the Turkish revisionism in the wider area I. The hole project was greatly favored by the gas discovery that ENI announced in Cyprus, 'Calypso', The Calypso discovery makes more likely the development and export of the Cypriot gas, either using the EastMed pipeline project, or in liquefied form as LNG, from an onshore facility or from a floating one.