Regional Cooperation

The rise of several independent countries with decent power in the Mediterranean offered two realistic directions. It could mean war between equally matched powers that would ultimately be self-destructive and allow for foreign powers to overtake the region, or it could mean peace and cooperation where creating a Mediterranean Fortress would essentially create immunity for all members to operate freely. Now as much as Athens wanted to make this truly all of the European Mediterranean, France was still too much of a wildcard. Their expression of support against Germany had eased concerns but the bloodlust was strong. Individual outreach could work well but a supranational cooperation for now simply wasn’t feasible. Italy, Iberia and Israel however did not have those same problems. As such after being sent the letter by the Imperial Palace, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would forward it to the three destinations.

To: President Ariel David, Queen Amalia of Italy, Queen Alba of Spain and Portugal

Your Majesties, Your Excellency,

First of all I wish to congratulate you all on your ascensions to power. It has been a very long time since our region has had so many powerful powers that are simultaneously present on the world stage. It is my belief that despite possible surface level differences, we share many of the same qualities and interests. It is for this purpose that I wish to invite all of you to meet with me in Byzantion so that we may discuss possible cooperation in the fields of trade, military and science. I look forward to meeting with you all.

Yours sincerely,
Empress Athanasia

@KingDavid @Caterina @Sentinel

Receiving the letter from the Athenian Empress was generally well received in Madrid, but none were more excited than Alba herself. The Greek woman had been a bit of a rolemodel for her. Much like her she had inherited a crown before she was even old enough to go to school, yet she had truly made her reign her own and unified territories that hadn’t been one in centuries. Athens would be a powerful ally and to be invited so soon was a great opportunity. She would write a letter herself thanking the Empress for her invitation and accepting it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one of only two Ministries that had been merged as part of the Union Laws, would send information on the Royal Jet as well as security precautions.

The past month Amalia had mostly been busy with rebuilding the country internally, however the international prestige of a state was nearly as important as its internal stability. As such the Athenian invitation provided a great opportunity. A reply would be sent from the Royal Palace accepting the invitation.

While still dealing with the selection of a Cabinet and initiating her legislative agenda, the invitation from the Athenian Federation was one Ariel simply could not ignore. The Athenian Federation was their most powerful neighbour and being on her side by extension meant safety from any Middle Eastern threat to Israel. Something essential for her plans as they would lead to plenty internal instability already. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would send a reply of gratitude and acceptance for the invitation.

Upon their arrival each leader would be welcomed by a delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as a military honour guard. From there they were given a scenic route through the largest city of the Federation until it stopped at the Imperial Palace. Once there each leader was allowed to settle into private quarters and recover from the travel.

The next day with everyone there the leaders would be escorted to the central conference room. Once all her guests were seated Athanasia walked in. “Your Majesties, your Excellency, thank you for making it so quickly. I trust you have been treated well” She said as she sat down at her assigned seat on the round table. “As mentioned in the invitation I have asked you, as major powers in the Mediterranean, here today to discuss a framework to make our regional power, global power.”

Alba had more than enjoyed her first night in Byzantion. The Athenian arrangements had been perfect and while obviously always present, the security was great at staying out of sight. For security and likely some fears after the death of her father, her mother had never allowed her to travel much outside of Iberia. Seeing Byzantion, a city with so much history and so many cultures was almost revolutionary to her. The next day when she was escorted to the conference room she listened carefully as the Athenian Empress spoke.

“Your Imperial Majesty, first of all thank you for inviting me to this conference. The goal of Iberia is and always will be the stability of our region and the safety of our people. However I can see how regional cooperation would achieve this goal. When you say you wish to create a global power. What would this encompass exactly? Like, would we seek to impose our will on other regions or would it be solely a defensive organization?”

Athanasia nodded as the young Portuguese Queen spoke. “I understand perfectly, your majesty. Athens believes in the fundamental right of self-determination. At the same time we also believe that the people stand above notions of sovereignty or government. As such what I propose is not that we strike randomly to serve our own political interest but an organization willing to act for the greater good. To take the example of Germany. If a government on the other side of the world were to commit genocide against its people and no one in the region would act, that would be something where we might intervene. Beyond that the focus is on the security and safety of the Mediterranean with a strong and proactive defence.”

“Those ideals and caveats are something I can agree to. How would this organization be structured?”

“At their core much like a bilateral alliance would but with more of a support infrastructure. As part of the effort we would establish an allied command provisionally headquartered in this very city. Each of us would dispatch personnel and liaisons to this headquarters as well as an ambassador to speak on behalf of our respective countries. This will allow swift action in case of emergencies and avoids the need of always having to travel personally. Finally, in a bit of a deviation of usual organizations, we would also establish a military directly subordinate to the organization. Each of us would send ground, air, naval and space forces and commanders would be appointed from each of our four countries. These battlegroups would be always ready for immediate deployment. If for example Lisbon were to be attacked the battlegroup could quickly intervene while the rest of us mobilize our regular forces. In essence we would seek a high level of military integration and cooperation while keeping our independence in all matters. All the perks of a single state but none of the burdens” Athanasia replied, explaining the organization. She was really starting to like the still very young Queen. She might look shy and nervous but when it came to the things that mattered she was certainly on point. “Queen Amalia, President David, do you have any questions or comments?”

Amalia shook her head. “No your proposal is clear and in Italy’s security interests. We will happily sign on”

Ariel listened carefully to the exchange between their host and the Portuguese Queen. By the end of it basically all her questions and concerns had been addressed.

“Likewise I feel all concerns have sufficiently been addressed”

Athanasia smiled. “Excellent ladies, in that case it is my pleasure to present you with a draft agreement I asked my diplomats to prepare in advance. This treaty will hopefully serve as a framework for our continued cooperation and an example to the world.”

Treaty of Byzantion on the Security of and Cooperation Between Mediterranean States
Treaty on the Founding of the Byzantine League

The MEMBERS;

RECOGNIZING the need for active cooperation within the Mediterranean,

UNDERSTANDING the realities of a chaotic global order that threatens the stability of the region,

REALIZING the importance of the Mediterranean Sea as a vital route for global trade,

RESPECTING the territorial ambitions and active territory of the member states,

COMMITTED to defend collective interests with collective means,

ACKNOWLEDGING the need for enhanced trade and free access,

DEDICATED to regional peace,

Do hereby agree to the following:

Article 1:
The members understand that non aggression and peace between members is of vital importance to the stability of the organization and commit to resolve all possible disputes between members diplomatically. If two or more parties in a dispute cannot resolve the matter themselves, they may request arbitration by the Council of the Byzantine League. Aggression of any kind between members will be grounds for immediate termination of the membership of the aggressor(s).

Article 2:
The members shall immediately form a Council to decide on the implementation and expansion of this traty. The Council of the Byzantine League, hereafter also referred to as the Council, shall be headquartered in Byzantion. Each member shall send a permanent delegation to the Council. Upon creation of the Council, it shall establish the Supreme Allied Command and the Mediterranean Trade Commission to implement the treaty provisions.

Article 3:
The Supreme Allied Command shall be responsible for all provisions related to military and security activities. An active duty officer from one of the member militaries shall be voted in as Supreme Allied Commander for a one-year term by the Council. In times of collective action, the Supreme Allied Commander will be the ranking officer over all member militaries. Outside of collective action the Supreme Allied Commander shall oversee activities to enhance cooperation and compatibility between member militaries. Monthly the Supreme Allied Commander shall issue a report to the Council on the state of the Byzantine League militaries.

Article 4:
The Mediterranean Trade Commission shall be responsible for all provisions related to economic and trade activities. A Trade Commissioner shall be voted in for a one-year term by the Council. The Trade Commissioner shall oversee the Mediterranean Trade Commission and monthly report to the Council on its activities.

Article 5:
Members agree that an attack on the territory of one will be considered an attack on all. Consequently they agree that an attack against one member will invoke the right of self-defence for all member states. Members shall take any action needed to restore the situation to the one before the infraction and defer to the Supreme Allied Command on how that goal is to be achieved. For the purposes of this article, the territory of a member is defined as any land owned by the member as well as the airspace over it and the citizens, forces, vessels, aircraft and spacecraft belonging to the member.

Article 6:
The members will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any member, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the members is threatened.

Article 7:
The members may for the preservation of the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any member agree to take offensive military action against a non-member. Such a motion shall require unanimity in the Council. In cases of offensive collective military action, members will defer command to the Supreme Allied Command.

Article 8:
For the purposes of economic integration and the enhancement of the Mediterranean region at large, members will remove all tariffs on trade between members and open their borders to the free movement of goods, persons, capital and services. The Mediterranean Trade Commission may grant exemptions to the removal of tariffs for economic sectors at risk and it may set collective requirements for the free movement of persons to guarantee they will not strain local security or social services.

Article 9:
Members will cooperate on judicial and criminal matters. Members shall also share information obtained by their intelligence agencies with other members and the Byzantine League where such information affects the territorial integrity, political independence or security of a member or the organization.

Article 10:
The scope of this treaty and the Byzantine League may be expanded or shrunk by members through proposals that shall require a unanimous vote in the Council.

Article 11:
The Byzantine League may be expanded by the members. Any candidate must border the Mediterranean Sea and may not currently be in conflict with any other member. The Council can admit a candidate as a Candidate Member through a 3/4 vote in the Council. After three months the candidacy will be reviewed by the Council and through a unanimous vote make the Candidate Member a full Member. During the Candidate Member stage the provisions of this treaty do not apply to the candidate member. If the Candidate Member is not made a full Member, a new review will be held three months later and every three months after until the Candidate Member becomes a full Member or withdraws from consideration.

Article 12:
Any member may leave the Byzantine League by providing notice to the Council of their intent. Immediately upon receiving the notice, the delegation of the departing member will be removed from the Council. Three months after the notice articles 3 and 5 through 7 shall no longer apply to the departing member. Six months after the notice all article, but article 1 shall no longer apply to the member. One year after the notice the departing member shall be completely released from their obligations and rights under this treaty.

Article 13:
Members agree that there are no existing obligations that conflict with any provisions of this treaty, furthermore members agree that they will not commit to obligations in the future that may conflict with provisions of this treaty. In case of any conflict, this treaty shall hold supremacy.

Article 14:
This treaty, of which the English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish texts are equally valid, shall go into effect upon the ratification by three quarters of the founding members and the deposit of the signed and ratified documents with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens. Duly authorized copies shall be sent by the government of the Athenian Federation to the governments of each member and the Council of the Byzantine League.

Article 15:
Upon becoming a new member, the obligations of this treaty shall apply immediately. The government of the new member must desposit the signed and ratified treaty carrying their signature in line with the procedure outlined in article 13.

Signed for the Athenian Federation,
Her Imperial Majesty Athanasia, Empress of the Athenian Federation, Queen of Macedon, Lady Protector of the Spartan League, Chosen of the Amazonian Free State, Speaker of Zeus, Avatar of Athena

Signed for the Federation of Israel,

Signed for the Iberian Union,

Signed for the Kingdom of Italy,

Ariel looked over the treaty, after confirming it contained all that they had discussed she took a pen. “While I will of course need to have it approved back home. I do not foresee any problem.” She said as she attached her signature.

Signed for the Federation of Israel,
President Ariel David

“This treaty definitely is a great framework for the next century of Mediterranean cooperation” Amalia said as she finished reading it.

Signed for the Kingdom of Italy,
Her Majesty Amalia, Queen of Italy

Signed for the Iberian Union,
Her Majesty Alba, Queen of Spain and Portugal

“Now that the terms of this organization have been discussed, I do feel it is my duty to inform you all as my new allies of a possibly relevant diplomatic development. We are currently negotiating with the United Kingdom to arrange the return of Gibraltar to the Kingdom of Spain. I personally hope that we can achieve a peaceful agreement with the British. Should these negotiations fail, however, the Iberian Union does want the region returned at all costs and at that stage we may require your aid”