Notice to European Sea Navigation: The Continental and Atlantic Approaches to a Common Sea

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Europe, more than a common space, is a unique space. The European policy has challenged the Europeans since the 1950s to go side by side towards a common space but, at the same time, it fosters the integrity preservation of their autonomous units - the States that make it up. History has taught that the geometries of the several dimensions, in which we can analyse the relationship between European States, are complex. In fact, being considered as an “old continent”, it carries the individual legacy of each State, as well as the tensions and alliances experienced among them. Being the access to new resources fundamental nowadays, especially with the increasingly technological demand, the search for these goods is shifting from the traditional comfort zone, the continental territories, to the depths of the oceans where resources’ sanctuaries are still unexploited. Evident sign of this fact is the increasing number of oceanographic campaigns to investigate, identify and inventory the sea bottom resources. The key issue to be addressed in this article is how Europe, as a single unit, looks at a hypothetical common European Sea, where two major sets of states, the Continental and the Atlantic, challenge themselves to maintain uniqueness within the European Union and its exclusive national interests. A practical and very current example is the continental shelf extension processes underway within the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf which may change the current European geopolitical paradigm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Policy Portuguese Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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