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  • Titill er á ensku The Role of the European Union in Relation to the Conservation of Endangered Shark Species
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Scientific evidence demonstrates a global decline of shark populations and encourages the international community to take actions to reverse this trend. As the EU has evolved an influential position in the shaping of international environmental law, also focusing on shark conservation, the objective of this thesis is to theorise, analyse and evaluate the role of the EU in relation to the protection of endangered species, with particular emphasis on sharks. The main features of the CITES, the CMS, the CBD and the Bern Convention, as well as their implementation into EU law in form of the Habitats Directive and the Shark Regulation are, therefore, introduced as tools aimed at tackling the protection of sharks.
    The thesis focuses on three primary problems relating to whether the international legal framework is effectively protecting shark species: Firstly, the differences of the material scope and the substantive provisions of the international agreements, which have, inter alia, been engaged in the conservation of sharks, are addressed. Moreover the increasing inter-treaty co-operation of these in order to minimise their possible ineffectiveness is examined.
    Secondly, the function of the COP in these agreements, and how cross-party political unwillingness can sometimes preclude the necessary adjusting of the international legal tools is validated. In this respect the EU needs to use its growing international influence in order to encourage effective adjustments of the MEAs through sagacious COP decisions. This argumentation leads, finally, to the evaluation of the interaction between the EU and the international tools and their effectiveness.
    The key aspects are approached mainly through comparison of the different international and EU instruments. Further, a research based examination of the increasing impact of international environmental law on EU law and vice-versa, as well as the measures, de facto, facilitated in relation to the conservation of sharks is provided.
    The main finding of the thesis is that the international and EU’s legislation need to be changed and modified. In order to promote an effective protection of endangered species relating to sharks, the thesis proposes the clustering of the CITES, the CMS, the CBD and the Bern Convention. Thus, the overlapping and the regulatory gaps arising in the legal framework could be avoided. The EU is, moreover, under an international obligation to utilise its political influence in order to impel the clustering of the respective legal tools and interact further with international environmental law to support the protection of endangered shark species.

  • 2.9.2014

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