Category Archives: Use of Territory

Negotiation and Signature of the Caen Agreement on the Delimitation of Territorial Waters and Maritime Jurisdiction between Italy and France

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.[1] 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[2] and the 1892 Convention on the fishing zone in the Mentone Bay.[3] 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.

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The Minister of Defence Takes Position on the Storage of Nuclear Weapons on the Italian Territory and the Obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 175th MEETING, 17 FEBRUARY 2014.

On 17 February 2014 the Minister of Defence, Mr. Mario Mauro, reported in writing to the Chamber of Deputies on a request for information concerning the types of nuclear weapons stored in Italy, their location and the compatibility between such practice and the obligations deriving from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which Italy is a party. Minister Mauro stated the following:

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A Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emma Bonino, on the Refusal to Granting Overflight Rights to Evo Morales

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES AND SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 1st, 3rd, AND 4th JOINT COMMISSIONS, XVII LEGISLATURE, 1st MEETING, 4 JULY 2013.

On 4 July 2013, Minister Bonino made reference to the actions taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to an incident occurred to the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, during his way back to Bolivia after an official visit to Moscow. The presidential aircraft had requested an authorization to fly over some European countries that was eventually rejected on 2 July 2013. This generated protests from Latin American countries, which saw the refusal to grant the overflight permission as stemming from the suspicion that Mr. Snowden was on board of the Presidential aircraft. In her statement, Ms. Bonino highlights the connections between this incident and the security measures adopted after 9/11 by the US and made some considerations on the relevance for Italy and the EU of the Snowden case. She stated: 

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Environmental Concerns over the Construction of MUOS: The Position of the Ministry of Defence

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 21st MEETING, 22 MAY 2013 – QUESTION TIME.

Pending an opinion of the Istituto Superiore della Sanità (National Health Institute), the Region of Sicily resorted to the precautionary principle under Article 191 TFEU and revoked its environmental authorizations for the construction of MUOS (a US military communication system) on its territory. On 22 May 2013, the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Mario Mauro, explained his Ministry’s decision to appeal against such revocation. He made reference to the duty to comply with the obligations undertaken by Italy under Article IX(3) of the London Agreement of 1951 between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty. Some excerpts from the Minister’s speech follow here below:

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