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Introduction to the EU Maritime Safety Policy

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Chapter Summary

For a long time the European Community's role in transport field and maritime transport was uncertain. The general constraints and difficulties encountered in establishing a Community wide maritime policy obviously also applied in relation to establishing a policy on maritime safety. The European Commission's Communication ?A Common Policy for Safe Seas' was adopted against the backdrop of two high profile, ship-source oil pollution accidents that took place in European waters, the Aegean Sea in December 1992 and the Braer in January 1993. The sinking of the Erika in December 1999 off the French Atlantic coast represented a turning point in EU maritime safety policy. The accident involving the passenger ferry Express Samina in Greece in September 2000 prompted the Commission to bring forward some proposals in relation to passenger ferries. The green paper seems to confirm a growing trend to consolidate the EU's maritime policy in a more international direction.

Keywords: A Common Policy for Safe Seas; Erika; EU maritime safety policy; European Commission



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