El EuroCG y los ingleses

Son los principales opositores de esta idea, aunque como no son tontos, la aceptan para casos de LCC, donde se ha demostrado que un país con todos sus medios no puede hacer frente a un Amoco Cádiz o un Prestige. (De momento no les llegan pateras y cayucos).

De la otra parte no quieren saber nada, hoy por hoy, La City es el centro del negocio marítimo y un cambio en el Status quo puede dar lugar a que el centro se desplace a Bruselas o a Portugal. No tragan y nuevamente en el Lloyds List tenemos una muestra de ello.

Con el tiempo esperemos que acaben pasando por el aro, para beneficio de todos los marinos de países sin una red ensign fuerte y con una cultura marítima pobre.

June 08 2006 Lloyds List

BRITAIN yesterday warned Brussels against pushing for the creation of a European coastguard and a European Union flag as the European Commission revealed a key document on the future direction of maritime policy.

An EU register and a common coastguard, both raised for discussion in the maritime «green paper», would not be supported by London, said UK shipping minister Stephen Ladyman.

«The paper provides a platform for a wide-ranging debate of maritime issues,» Dr Ladyman told Lloyd’s List while visiting the Posidonia exhibition in Athens.

«But it will be important to focus on priorities – areas where there is a proven need for intervention at European level, where the EU can really add value.»

The minister welcomed the green paper’s call for EU ships to be of high quality, with highly qualified seafarers working in the best of conditions.

But he warned: «Member states can share this common objective, determined to enforce international standards and penalise those who do not comply, without creating a single European flag or, for that matter, a European coastguard.»

The wide-ranging document, launched in Brussels by maritime affairs commissioner Joe Borg and commission president Jose Barroso, devoted almost two pages to the concept of a European coastguard.

«The degree of integration of government functions relating to territorial waters and exclusive economic zones varies between member states,» it read.

«In some cases, a single authority [coastguard, police or armed forces] is responsible for almost all functions. A move towards more co-ordination between these activities and among member states might further integration and make for greater efficiency.»

The document’s authors continued: «The European Parliament and the council have made reference to the establishment of synergies between enforcement authorities. The commission was invited to submit by the end of 2006 a feasibility study on a European coastguard service.

«The trend on the seas seems likewise to be towards a common EU maritime space, governed by the same rules on safety, security, environmental protection.»

On the EU flag, the green paper raised the question: «Should an optional EU register be made available? What conditions and incentives could be contemplated for such a register?»

Other controversial issues were raised, including the future of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the «problematic» home residency status of ships’ crews, alleged dumping by Asian shipyards, pollution caused by shipbreaking in south Asia and the exclusion of maritime sectors from European labour and social legislation on collective redundancies and transfer of under-takings.

«The green paper has a broad approach raising a variety of issues and questions some of which may be controversial,» said the European Community Ship Owners’ Association. «It is evident that each of them needs to be assessed and considered in more detail.»

By covering many of the issues facing the maritime industry and personally endorsing the green paper put together by Mr Borg, Mr Barroso did nothing to dispel the impression that transport commissioner Jacques Barrot’s grip on the industry is weakening.

Mr Barroso said he «would not hesitate» to propose the EU flag, the coastguard and a new maritime affairs ministry for the commission if they were deemed necessary after the consultation phase, which is due to last a year.

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