The Law of the Sea
Edited by Laura Pineschi and Tullio Treves
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 entered into force on 16 November 1994. Since this date a single binding instrument has regulated the rights and duties of States at sea and regarding the sea. New concepts, such as the exclusive economic zone, archipelagic waters, transit passage through straits, and the International Seabed Area, are now fully recognized.
The fifteen member States of the European Union are a significant sample for analyzing the practice of States, or at least that of the Western industrialized States, as regards the law of the sea. They include major and small maritime powers, coastal and land-locked States, States with coasts on the Atlantic Ocean and States with coasts on semi-enclosed seas such as the Baltic and the Mediterranean, States with and without involvement in deep seabed mining and States with different interests as regards fisheries. The fact that they all belong to the European Union is a very important common feature, which amply justifies the choice made to study them together.
The book's aim is to give, through essays prepared by well-known specialists, a detailed survey of the attitudes and practice concerning the law of the sea of the member States of the European Union and of the European Community as such. The common positions of the member States and the results of their coordinated action also emerge from these essays. The fact that the member States and the European Community are now actively engaged in the process of becoming parties to the Law of the Sea Convention is certainly a major contribution to the consolidation of the Convention as a universal instrument, or at least as an instrument widely ratified by States of all continents and economic and political interests.