Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos: "The commitments arising from the invocation of international law"

September 23, 2020

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini 

The commitments arising from the invocation of international law

 

The delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has the “advantage” of being an institutionalized and compulsory procedure under international law (articles 74 and 83 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS]) that includes consultations, negotiations, agreement between states with opposite or adjacent coasts and whose potential areas of jurisdiction overlap or, in the event of an inability to reach an agreement, recourse to the procedures provided for in the UNCLOS and in the end a “procedural” agreement for a joint recourse to an international judicial or arbitration procedure. 

Diplomatic initiatives to delimit the continental shelf and the EEZ are therefore an obligation under international law. This does not mean that the other side will agree or that it will not attempt to involve other matters in the process. It is important that the Greek position is clear. For a country like Greece, which always states that the axis of its foreign policy is respect for international law, such initiatives should be a given. This is after all showcased in the recent agreement between Greece and Italy on the conversion of the 1977 continental shelf delimitation agreement to an EEZ delimitation agreement, before it was even declared, without a change in the overall limits, and it is also evident in the even more recent partial EEZ delimitation agreement with Egypt west of the 28th (to be exact of the 27.59th) meridian and up to the 26th meridian.

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VerfBlog | Ev. Venizelos, "Passive and Unequal: The Karlsruhe Vision for the Eurozone"

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Published on Verfassungsblog, May 27, 2020

 

Passive and Unequal: The Karlsruhe Vision for the Eurozone

 

1. The decision of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG) on the European Central Bank’s PSPP program did not come as a shock. All the critical arguments of that decision can be found explicitly or implicitly in the BVerfG’s referral to the Court of Justice of the EU on 18 July 2017. The CJEU replied through the preliminary ruling of 11 December 2018 (Weiss and Others, C-493/17).

2. The real object of the decision of the BVerfG is the economic governance of the Eurozone or rather the big bet of European solidarity and European integration, in the midst of a pandemic even. These are all of particular interest to Greece, which has acted as a lever of pressure and as a laboratory to test new institutions of economic governance and even quantitative easing.

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Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos : "Delineating maritime zones"

June 17, 2020

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini

 

Delineating maritime zones

  

With the agreement signed on June 9, 2020 between Greece and Italy, the delimitation line of the 1977 bilateral agreement on the demarcation of the continental shelf of the two countries will now be used for the delimitation of the other maritime zones, in which the two countries are entitled to exercise their sovereign rights or jurisdiction under international law.

In practical terms this means that when Greece declares an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in general or only in the specific area, that zone will already be delimited and its area will be the exact same as that of the continental shelf already demarcated since 1977. Article 2 of the agreement provides that if one of the contracting parties decides to declare a maritime zone, practically an EEZ, it is obliged to inform the other party as soon as possible.

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Ev. Venizelos, "Pandemic, Fundamental Rights and Democracy - The Greek Example"

28 April 2020

 

Evangelos Venizelos *

  

"Pandemic, Fundamental Rights and Democracy - The Greek Example" **

 

 [PDF] 

 A. The pandemic and the acquis of modernity - A challenge to fundamental rights and liberal democracy.

 

1. The Coronavirus pandemic is not only a health, economic and social challenge but a major challenge for national constitutions, international law and the EU legal order as well. More precisely, the pandemic is evolving into a comprehensive challenge to the acquis of modernity, i.e. liberal democracy, human rights and the guarantees of the rule of law, the nation state and its sovereignty, the organization of international society and the role of the United Nations and international organizations, regional cooperation, European integration and solidarity, and the degree of economic development and the “western way of life”. Our analysis will be focused on fundamental rights, while also making some necessary references to the function of liberal democracy institutions.


2.
The Greek case is comparatively interesting in many ways. Greece has emerged from an economic crisis lasting nearly ten years (2009-2019); a crisis that led to harsh austerity measures and brought to action the judicial control on the constitutionality of the relevant legislation, but also its compatibility with EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Greek Debt Crisis also led to changes in the rules of the economic governance of the EU and the Eurozone.

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Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos: "National strategic self-awareness"

Athens, 11 December 2019

 

Evangelos Venizelos

Article in Kathimerini 

National strategic self-awareness

 

The Erdogan-Sarraj agreement on the “delimitation” of maritime jurisdictions between Turkey and Libya, in violation of international law, is not an unexpected development. It is not something outside the possible scenarios that Greece has always considered.

After all, on November 13, 2019, Turkey’s permanent representative to the United Nations, in a letter to the secretary-general, presented the Turkish perceptions on the delimitation of maritime zones in the Eastern Mediterranean. There are some interesting nuances present in this document. Of course, Turkey presents its own perception on the outer limits of the continental shelf, on which coastal states exercise sovereign rights ipso facto and ab initio (this element is the main contribution of the concept of continental shelf in the debate concerning maritime zones).

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Democratic Legitimacy at National Level and Solidarity between Financially Unequal Member States. Two Structural Problems of European Integration

2017

Evangelos Venizelos*

Democratic Legitimacy at National Level and Solidarity between Financially Unequal Member States.

Two Structural Problems of European Integration**

My approach towards fundamental European values ​​and, in particular, towards the pillars of democracy and solidarity, will be somewhat subversive since, apart from a general reference to the values ​​of the European Union, I will deal in particular with two major problems which are linked to these values ​​and constitute structural issues of the European integration:

First of all, there is the democratic legitimacy (at national level) of choices that hinder the European integration and, secondly, the solidarity between Μember States that are economically unequal. I believe that this approach will help us to gradually move from the high level of values ​​to the more specific, practical and demanding level of intergovernmental relations and lasting bargaining at the heart of the European integration.

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British exit - European transformation. Conjuncture, History, Democracy

Athens, June 27, 2016

 Article by Evangelos Venizelos on his personal website

British exit - European transformation

Conjuncture, History, Democracy 

The British referendum forces us to turn our attention once more to the fundamental issues: the relation of conjuncture, history and democracy. The relation between the European integration and the sovereignty of member states. The relation between European and national consciousness. It forces us to turn to matters that, while seemingly abstract and theoretical, have a very strict, specific and practical content.

The British referendum was called to serve internal political ends, to facilitate the victory of the Tories in 2015, in order to ensure the coherence of the now ruling party and incorporate conservative eurosceptics into Mr. Cameron’s election majority. Within the one year that has since passed, the conjuncture has become strongly anti-European, primarily due to the refugee crisis. No austerity measure came to pass in the United Kingdom. No memoranda have been implemented.

The British election conjuncture in May 2015 was transformed into a British referendum conjuncture in 2016. All these happened in the name of democracy and the appeal to the sovereign will of the British people. History just waited to record the situation and submit to it. Even temporarily.

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Statehood and sovereignty: the difficult equilibrium between European Union and Member States in crisis management- Refugee crisis and Brexit

May 2016

Evangelos Venizelos* 

Statehood and sovereignty: the difficult equilibrium between European Union and Member States in crisis management- Refugee crisis and Brexit**

During this period (first semester of 2016), the EU has to deal mainly with two issues: first, the management of the huge refugee and migration flows that enter the Union from Turkey through the gateway of the Greek maritime borders in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean and, second the referendum about Britain’s future in the EU.

The common denominator of these two issues is the resurgence of the conflict between European integration and the sovereignty of Member States either for conjunctural reasons (arrival of a large number of refugees and irregular migrants) or because this results from the rise of Eurosceptic or openly anti-European views in some Member State in a degree that calls into question the participation in the EU itself (as in the case of the UK). A deeper common denominator is the contestation of the sufficiency, effectiveness and more generally the added value of EU membership and the European integration.

1. Our definition of crisis

For the needs of this analysis, as crisis can be defined each situation that deviates from the “usual”, from what would not have called into question the existing arrangements and equilibria within the institutional edifice of the EU. In other words, crisis conditions emerge when the circumstances and a fortiori the new conditions that are prolonged challenge the sufficiency of the existing mechanisms.

The economic and, to be more specific, financial crisis that erupted in 2008 and had a strong impact on many Eurozone countries appertains certainly to this broader sense of the crisis [1]. Moreover, the same notion includes the huge increase in refugee and migration flows from Syria and other countries of the Middle East as well as North Africa or Asia to the EU[2] from 2015 on.

This broader sense of the crisis nowadays includes the promised by the British government proclamation of a referendum as to whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU as well. In this case the crisis is caused by a political initiative of a Member State government and not by economic or international reasons; it is, though, still a crisis, since existent arrangements and equilibria in the institutional edifice of Europe are challenged. After all, the deeper question that the British government had to answer was whether it would deal with the reactions of a large part of British society against European integration as a British problem or it would render it a problem of the Union, asking the latter to manage the pressure by agreeing new specific arrangements for the UK. The internal political crisis in one or more Member States is thus turned into an institutional and political crisis of Europe as an entity with community and intergovernmental characteristics and it is asked to successfully confront it through the intergovernmental method.

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