SAFEMED project launched at IMO


The SAFEMED project for Euro-Mediterranean Co-operation on Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution from Ships was launched on Wednesday (30 November) at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

SAFEMED is a €4 million EU-funded regional project established under the MEDA* programme which is to be implemented by the IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC). SAFEMED will focus on:

  - flag State implementation and monitoring of classification societies;
  - safety of navigation and traffic monitoring;
  - protection of the marine environment;
  - human element issues; and
  - security of ships and port facilities.

REMPEC representatives outlined the main features of the project at the launch, which was attended by representatives of IMO, EU Member States, the European Commission (EC) and beneficiary countries. The launch coincided with the 24th session of the IMO Assembly, which ends on Friday 2 December.

The Project will be implemented by REMPEC during 2006-2008 in ten Mediterranean Partner countries** - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey - under the overall co-ordination of the EC and with technical backstopping from IMO.

The primary objective of the SAFEMED project is to harmonize the application of maritime legislation in the region between the Mediterranean Partners that are not members of the EU, and those that are members, through promoting coherent, effective and uniform implementation of the relevant international conventions and rules aimed at better protection of the marine environment in the Mediterranean region. Specific activities under SAFEMED will include training courses and seminars, needs' assessment, capacity building, preparing for the voluntary IMO Member State audit scheme and establishment and maintenance of a dedicated SAFEMED website.

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* The MEDA programme is the principal financial instrument of the European Union for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The programme offers technical and financial support measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the Mediterranean Partners.
** Refers to the "Mediterranean Partners" as defined in the 1995 Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Process), a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean.

Briefing 50, 1 December 2005

IMO administers REMPEC, which operates within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of the Regional Seas Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). REMPEC website: http://www.rempec.org

For further information please contact:

Lee Adamson, Head, Public Information Services on 020 7587 3153 (media@imo.org) or
Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (media@imo.org).