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Accidental marine pollution

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The European Union is setting up a Community framework for cooperation between Member States in the field of accidental and deliberate marine pollution.

ACT

Decision No 2850/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2000 setting up a Community framework for cooperation in the field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

1. Community action in the field of accidental marine pollution has been based on the following three areas since 1978:

  • a Community Action Programme on the control and reduction of pollution caused by hydrocarbons discharged at sea [Official Journal C 162, 8.7.1978];
  • a Community Information System [Official Journal L355, 10.12.1981 and Official Journal L 77, 22.3.1986], discontinued upon the entry into force of this Decision;
  • a Community Task Force comprised of experts from Member States who are called on to provide practical assistance in the event of accidental marine pollution.

The Decision aims to improve these three elements and integrate them into a single framework for cooperation, covering the period from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2006.

2. The framework for cooperation intends to:

  • supplement Member States' efforts at national, regional and local level to protect the marine environment, human health and coastlines against the risks of accidental or deliberate pollution at sea;
  • reinforce cooperation and mutual assistance between Member States in this field, with a view to providing compensation for damages in accordance with the 'polluter pays' principle;
  • improve the Member States' capacity to intervene in the event of accidental spills of harmful substances at sea.

3. The Community Information System (EN) is at the heart of the framework for cooperation. It uses a modern data processing system (Internet site managed at Community level with a Community homepage and national homepages). The national pages indicate the national structures and authorities dealing with marine pollution and the equipment available for emergency response and clean-up procedures, and specify the conditions for offering assistance.

4. The framework for cooperation will be implemented on the basis of a three-year rolling action plan (EN), to be re-examined annually. The plan will specify individual measures which will be selected on the basis of their contribution to:

  • informing and preparing those involved in dealing with accidental marine pollution in Member States, including port authorities;
  • improving the techniques and methods of intervention and rehabilitation after emergencies and techniques for assessing damage;
  • operational support, by mobilising experts from the Community Task Force to the Member States;
  • better public information;
  • stepping up cooperation with the competent local authorities and with nature protection organisations.

5. An advisory committee will assist the Commission in implementing this decision.

6. No later than thirty-six months after the Decision enters into force and again six years after its entry into force, the Commission will report to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of the framework for cooperation.

7. The types of activity covered by the framework for cooperation and the financial arrangements for the Community contribution are set out in Annex II to the Decision.

8. A total of EUR 12.6 million has been made available for the implementation of the Decision for the period 2000-2006.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision No 2850/2000/EC28.12.2000-OJ L 332, 28.12.2000

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision No 787/2004/EC20.5.2004-OJ L 138, 30.4.2004

RELATED ACTS

Commission Communication of 22 December 2006, entitled: 'Cooperation in the field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution after 2007' [COM(2006) 863 final - not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission reviews the prevention of marine pollution and recovery after pollution, indicating how its monitoring and development will be guaranteed from 2007 after the expiry of the framework for cooperation put in place by Decision No 2850/2000/EC. Amongst other issues the Commission highlights the necessity of reinforcing the coherence of Community policy in the fields of preparation and response to marine pollution, the impending development of the European Maritime Safety Agency's role in preparing to tackle marine pollution, the possibility of financing preparatory action through other European programmes and funds, the necessity of continuing the exchange of good practice on a Community level and the necessity of increasing operational support provided to Member States in the event of pollution.

Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2005, 'Thematic strategy on the protection and conservation of the marine environment' [COM(2005) 504- not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission is proposing a common framework and objectives for the protection and conservation of the marine environment. In order to achieve these common objectives, Member States will have to evaluate requirements in the marine areas for which they are responsible. They will then have to draw up and implement coherent management plans in each region and then monitor their application. This Communication is accompanied by a proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environment policy.

Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency [Official Journal L 208, 5.8.2002].

Council Decision 2007/779/EC, Euratom of 8 November 2007 establishing aCommunity mechanism for civil protection(recasting) [Official Journal L 314, 1.12.2007].


 
Last updated: 04.01.2008
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