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The Law of the Sea and Mediterranean Security


The attempt to call for a Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean in the 1990s was not successful and the transformation of the Mediterranean from an area of conflict into an area of peace has continued to be elusive because of the numerous clashes in the region. There are also dormant controversies due to the colonial past. The delimitation of the marine area has sometimes become a source of conflict, especially the regulation of the use of the sea, including fisheries. This paper argues that a regulatory framework that takes account of the role of the European Union (EU) and its potential as an integrator of south riparian countries could be proposed. NATO, too, should play an important role now that France has again joined the military structures of the alliance. A transatlantic policy should be devised that not only involves the organizations in which European States and the United States already collaborate such as NATO, but also strengthens relations between the EU and NATO. The role of the United States is paramount because of the leverage it has on several Mediterranean countries, in particular Egypt, Israel, Morocco, and Turkey, and since it is one of the main military users of the Mediterranean. However, a common regulatory framework seems to be impossible for the time being, while cooperation on single issues appears to be much more feasible.

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