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"Relational Governance" for Marine Pollution Incidents in the Mediterranean: Transformations, Development and Prospects

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The recently launched revision process of the 1976 Emergency Protocol to the Barcelona Convention reveals, at the various stages of the negotiation process, that governance of marine pollution incidents in the Mediterranean can be effective if conceived as relational governance. As such, it refers to the optimisation of international common interest reflected within the over-embracing management of the vessel-source pollution in the Mediterranean where the contextual connections are effectively and efficiently brought together. The new relationol governance domain of the Mediterranean marine pollution incident regime, as emerges from the revision process of the 1976 Emergency Protocol, integrates both operational and accidental pollution and marks a distinct evolution of the Protocol management and accountability system. The latter is effected by an extensive amendment of the existing relational (procedural and substantive) duties, by introducing necessary innovative power-rights and duties, and by implying the general sustainable management and accountability of the amended Barcelona Convention. As the negotiations for the revision of the Protocol continue, the pattern of optimising international common interest in the prospective marine pollution incident regime could be enhanced in three directions: the reinforcement of the accountability of the contracting parties as flag states with respect to the enforcement of the relevant international conventions applied in the Mediterranean Sea, the promotion of port state control system in the Protocol regime, and the appropriate introduction of the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Affiliations: 1: International Law, Panteion University of Athens


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