Thursday, May 26, 2005

Commission proposes new resources for combating pollution

The European Commission has proposed a financial package of Euros 154 million over a period of seven years for the European Maritime Safety Agency to allow it to combat pollution caused by ships.

The funds will enable the Agency to make specialised anti-pollution vessels available to Member States to recover pollutants and develop satellite images to detect pollution in good time.

Jacques Barrot, Vice-President responsible for Transport said:

“We must have a European system to combat pollution at sea in order to protect our coasts. The Maritime Safety Agency needs adequate funding to help it combat pollution at sea”.

The EU funding for the Agency should cover a seven-year period corresponding to that of the new financial perspective (2007-2013).

The funds are intended to strengthen the capability of the Member States to respond to pollution caused by oil and other substances using specialised anti-pollution vessels.

Member States affected by oil slicks with which they cannot deal themselves will be able to call on the Agency to increase their capability for dealing with pollution by using additional resources for the recovery of oil at sea.

This system of “reserve vessels” which the Agency will place at the disposal of Member States affected will have equipment for recovering pollutants from the sea.

These resources will also help in the development of satellite imaging to enable pollution to be detected in good time and will underpin efforts by the Member States to prevent illegal discharges and accidental spillages of oil.

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