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Durham University

IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Albanian constitutional court nullifies maritime boundary agreement with Greece

(10 February 2010)

On Tuesday 26 January 2010, the Albanian constitutional court annulled the maritime boundary agreement between Albania and Greece due to ‘procedural and substantial violations’ of the constitution and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The agreement which delimited the respective areas of continental shelf and territorial waters in the Ionian Sea was signed in Tirana in April 2009 after two years of negotiations. However, the Albanian government’s main opposition force, the Socialist Party, contested the accord and accused the government of holding negotiations in secret and giving up an area of about  225 square kilometres in exchange of future political support from neighbouring Greece. As a result, the Socialist Party officially requested the constitutional court to rule on the legitimacy of the maritime agreement.

Although it seems that Greece has not yet commented on the Albanian constitutional court’s judgement, the Albanian government accepted the decision and Prime Minister Berisha has declared that negotiations with Greece will soon resume.

Sources: ‘Albanian constitutional court annuls border agreement with Greece’ IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis, 3 February 2010; ‘Albanian constitutional court rejects sea border delineation accord with Greece’ BBC Monitoring European, 27 January 2010; ‘Albanian court annuls territorial waters agreement with Greece’ Agence France Presse, 27 January 2010; ‘Albanian premier accepts court’s ruling on sea border accord with Greece’ BBC Monitoring European, 30 January 2010.

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