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D.M. Di Stefano calls a meeting of the Steering Committee on the Sea after approval of the Law on the setting up of the Exclusive Economic Zone

This morning the Deputy Minister chaired the meeting of the Inter-ministerial Steering Committee on the Sea, set up to align the various administrations’ approaches to Italy’s international standing on maritime matters. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Presidency of the Republic, Presidency of the Council, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies, Ministry of Ecological Transition, and the Ministry of Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility.

The Steering Committee came out of Law 91/2021 approved on 9 June this year, which provides for the possibility of authorising the setting up of an Exclusive Economic Zone – by means of a Decree of the President of the Republic – in the waters surrounding the territorial seas or part thereof.

“In recent years the geopolitical situation of the sea has changed,” said the Deputy Minister, “leading to gradual ‘territorialisation of the sea’. The law therefore provides Italy with a flexible tool for extending the Country’s sovereignty and action at sea. We therefore intend to draw up a roadmap for progressive proclaiming of the EEZ in the various portions of the sea that relate to our Country.”

“Given our Country’s position at the centre of the Mediterranean, the extent of our coastline, and the number of maritime borders we have with adjacent States and those opposite us (ten in all), it is essential that we have a coherent approach to our demarcation agreements. This important drive will call for intense bilateral negotiations, which we intend to tackle with a strategic outlook,” continued Deputy Minister Di Stefano.

“In fact, these matters have highly important spin-offs in terms of the blue economy, as well as on our Country’s maritime standing. Then we must not forget the archaeological heritage under the sea, safeguarding the marine environment and the health of the sea in general, which will always be our priority,” concluded the Deputy Minister.