On 13 January 2016 the French authorities arrested the Italian fishing vessel Mina with the accusation of violating French territorial waters. The Mina was arrested during fishery of the red shrimp off the Ligurian coast, between Ventimiglia and the Mentone bay, before the Balzi Rossi reef, and was released upon payment of an 8300-euro deposit. Subsequently, the French authorities expressed regret for the arrest, conceding that it ensued from a wrongful determination of the boundary and jurisdiction over the area. The case spotlighted the on-going discussion between Italy and France over the determination of their maritime boundaries and corresponding fishing rights in an area off Liguria and North of Sardinia, pending the ratification of the so-called Caen Agreement. To date, Italy’s and France’s jurisdiction and fishing rights in the respective areas have been regulated de facto by the 1986 Bocche di Bonifacio Agreement and the 1892 Convention on the fishing zone in the Mentone Bay. More specifically, the 1892 Mentone Bay Convention has never entered into force and was negotiated as a modus vivendi providing for a cooperative ground between the countries, whilst leaving their positions legally unprejudiced. As to the Bocche di Bonifacio Agreement, it only determines French and Italian territorial waters in the Strait of Bonifacio. Though regulating the fisheries traditions and practices of French and Italian fishing vessels in a common zone West of the Strait, the Agreement fails to comprehensively establish the Parties’ maritime boundaries and fishing rights. The Caen Agreement, when in force, would thus constitute the first bilateral instrument to effectively determine the maritime boundaries between the two countries and serve as a basis to settle possible disputes.
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 336th MEETING, 22 OCTOBER 2014.
On 22 October 2014, the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Matteo Renzi, outlined before the Senate the position of Italy on the topics to be discussed at the European Council of 23-24 October 2014, i.e. the new climate and energy policy framework, the economic situation in the EU and other external relation issues in the light of the developments on the international scene.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 173rd MEETING, 13 FEBRUARY 2014.
Italy was the last among the countries concerned to ratify the Protocol on the Implementation of the 1991 Alpine Convention in the Field of Transport (Law no. 196 of 2012, deposited in Vienna on 7 February 2013) but it contextually adopted and filed an interpretative declaration which prompted the apprehension of the Austrian and German authorities as to whether this amounted to a formal reservation by Italy, and cast doubts on Italy’s real intention to implement the Protocol. Following up on the objections raised by Austria and Germany, the Undersecretary of State for infrastructures and transport, Mr. Rocco Girlanda, clarifies the Italian position on this issue in the following terms:
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SIXTH COMMITTEE (LXVIII Session), DEBATE ON THE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION ON THE WORK OF ITS SIXTY-FIFTH SESSION (UN Doc. A/68/10).
On 4 November 2013, during the debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Report of the International Law, the Italian delegate, Mr. Mauro Politi, submitted the comments of his delegation on the topic of “Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflicts”. Mr. Politi noted that the Report of the ILC indicated that “an informal dialogue” had taken place between the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Marie Jacobsson, and the members of the Commission on elements such as scope and methodology, the general direction and the timetable for future work. In this respect, he observed what follows: