Last year, Spain accused Gibraltar of committing a breach to the bloc’s environmental regulations with the artificial reef they created last year, along with other activities. This week, however, the European Commission found that the government of Gibraltar did not commit to such a breach.
“The Commission’s services have assessed the standpoints of the countries and concluded, on the basis of the investigations conducted, that no violation of environmental law has been identified,” the EC’s press officer for the environment, Andreja Skerl, told EFE.
The decision was made after a year of Madrid accusing Gibraltar of acting illegally and claiming that these illegalities were “Spanish jurisdiction.” The activities were bunkering like the Eastside or Sovereign Bay project and the North West Artificial Reef system mentioned above. Last July, the Gibraltar government sunk 72 concrete blocks into the sea to create an artificial reef for marine life to boost depleted fish stocks and based on their environmental model for a successful 30-year plan.
The EU has upheld that Gibraltar has done nothing wrong, the Directorate-General for Environment saying that they “have come to the conclusion that we are unable to identify any breach of EU environmental legislation.”
There have always been conflicts between Britain and Spain over the British-claimed island. The Gibraltarians claim jurisdiction over the waters within three nautical miles of the Rock, but Spain says that the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht ceding Gibraltar to London includes only the port waters.