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The EU Acting as a Flag State

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Chapter Summary

The traditional justification for flag State jurisdiction relied on the flag State's jurisdiction over the shipowning company and the circumstance that the flag State was the only State that was capable of exercising effective jurisdiction over its ships. Ships' flags tend to be a sensitive matter, involving the very symbols of national identity. Legal measures, which only place requirements on the Member States in the capacity as flag States have not been prioritized in the EU maritime safety policy. The reluctance of EU Member States to open the door for a more comprehensive EU flag State policy can at least in part be explained by concerns that this would deprive them of their independent powers, both as flag States and as national representatives at the IMO and other international forums. The bulk of the maritime safety measures tended to focus on all ships, without regard to the nationality.

Keywords: EU flag State policy; EU maritime safety policy



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