The delimitation of the maritime border and the continental shelf is one of the most complicated and delicate issues of Albania. It is related to historical affairs, Albanian heritage, economic development, international relations and the exploitation of our maritime natural resources. This delimitation has a great influence on the security and international politics between the states that are included in this issue and most importantly in the security and the prosperity of the region.
My research will focus on two important topics related to each other. I am going to discuss the “Delimitation of maritime border and continental shelf” pact between Albania and Greece, an agreement that was later revoked by the Constitutional Court of Albania, because it was investigated and proved the wrong division of the maritime border based on the “equidistant” principle. After that I am going to confront the injustice done to Albania reflected in the International Right with the Law of Seas. This paper will argue in favor of the decision of the Albanian Constitutional Court for rejecting the nautical pact between Greece and Albania as the most reasonable and fair decision, because it is directly connected not only to geographical and legal reasons, based on the United Nations Convention on Law of the sea (1982), but also to economic and touristic issues.
The “secret negotiation” that was done between Albania and Greece consisted on giving up to 225 square kilometers of the Albanian water zone to Greece. Albania faced this damage of the unfair division of defining the median line, because the negotiations were not based on the UNCLOS-82 convention. The convention recommends the application of the impartial principle in cases such as the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf not only in the North Corfu strait but in all the geographical area of Otranto strait. The Exclusive Economic Zone is the zone in which the countries, in this case Albania and Greece, exercise their sovereign and other coastal rights based on the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea. In this area are included the Contiguous Zone and the Territorial Sea. The coastline state has under control all the economic resources, including: fishing, oil, natural gas and other minerals. The Contiguous Zone is the area in the Territorial Sea in which the state has the right to pursue a limited control that is related to illegal economic issues, emigration, trafficking or environmental issues. The Territorial Sea is the water area that extends until the 12th mile from the coastline. The country has a sovereignty right in this water area over the Continental Shelf also.
The geometric evidences showed that the negotiators: Sali Berisha, the Albanian prim-minister and the Greek prime-minister, Costas Karamanlis, did not take into consideration some of the articles of UNCLOS, particularly article number 15, 74 and 83 that I am going to specify on the next paragraphs. Based on...