the outcome of the meeting between the Vice-President of the European Commission,
Mrs. Loyola de Palacio, responsible for relations with the European
Parliament, Transport and Energy and the Secretary-General of the International
Maritime Organization, Mr. William O'Neil
(Brussels, 4 March 2003)
a meeting between the Vice-President of the European Commission Mrs. Loyola
de Palacio, responsible for relations with the European Parliament, Transport
& Energy and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization
Mr. William O'Neil, they both expressed satisfaction with the positive and constructive
manner and outcome of their consultations concerning the objectives to be achieved
in the aftermath of the accident.
the need for shipping to continue to be regulated by global standards, while,
at the same time, recognizing the actions, the role and the responsibilities
of the European Union, in particular the actions required to be undertaken in
the context of the Prestige for a better coastal protection, the two
parties concurred that the opportunity should be seized, as soon as possible,
for IMO to further enhance the prevention of pollution from tankers at the world-wide
Mrs. de Palacio
stated that, having regard to the obligations under the European Treaty and
the role of the European Commission within the European Union and taking account
of the decisions already taken by the European Parliament and EU-Council of
Ministers, as soon as the EU Institutions have formulated their position in
response to the Prestige accident, appropriate measures would be proposed
to IMO by the EU to revise the MARPOL Convention with respect to the regulations
related to the phasing-out of single hull tankers and to prohibit the carriage
of dirty oils by single hull tankers. It might be expected that both the Council
and the European Parliament will succeed in finalizing their position by the
end of March. Mr. O'Neil welcomed this statement and outlined an expeditious
way to handle the EU proposals once submitted to IMO for consideration. The
desirability of a global approach to the single hull tanker issue was recognized.
also agreed on the need for proactive action for the detection of structural
weaknesses in ageing oil tankers, both single and double hulled.
In the meantime,
the importance of designating new particularly sensitive sea areas and identifying
places of refuge was stressed. The initiative taken by EU Member States to have
additional PSSA measures considered at IMO's forthcoming MEPC session in July
was welcomed and supported.
to places of refuge, the European Commission welcomed the initiatives already
taken by IMO towards adopting appropriate guidelines and underlined the importance
of using these guidelines when implementing measures related to places of refuge
throughout the EU.
emphasized the need to enhance flag State performance globally through IMO.
Given the commitment of the EU Member States towards flag State auditing, the
importance of achieving substantial progress on flag State performance at forthcoming
IMO meetings (MSC, Council and Assembly) was recognized.
discussion, the European Commission stressed the added value the EU is bringing
to IMO's work and how the relationship between IMO and the EU could be strengthened.
The European Commission referred to its proposal for obtaining an early EU membership
at IMO, which it considers will offer it the opportunity to play an even more
constructive role within the Organization.
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations Specialized Agency with responsibility
for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Web site: www.imo.org
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