In late September 2016, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan made an unprecedented statement disputing the International Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923 between Greece and Turkey and, inter alia, expressed regret over the Aegean Sea and its islands. Specifically, the Turkish President said that ‘in 1920 they showed us the Treaty of Sevres to convince us to sign the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. And some people tried to present it as a victory.’ ‘With the Treaty of Lausanne we gave away the islands to the Greeks. If you shout from the Aegean coast, your voice will be heard on the islands.’ It should be noted that, although the new Convention on the Law of the Sea (of 1982) expressly states in Article 121 that all islands have an EEZ (exclusive economic zone) and that the EEZ of an island is determined in the same manner applicable to other land territory, Turkey refuses to proceed with the delimitation of the EEZ in the Aegean and Southeastern Mediterranean.

1. What action will the Commission take to safeguard the Greek border which, if nothing else, is the southeastern external border of the EU? 2. How can the Commission deal with obvious challenges that call into question the territorial sovereignty of the EU?