EU Bodies Team Up on Maritime Emergencies
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have concluded a new working arrangement to reinforce co-operation on maritime emergencies.
The agreement is aimed at enhancing the coordination on marine pollution preparedness, monitoring and response.
“The EU Civil Protection Mechanism enables a coordinated and coherent EU response by pooling resources that can be deployed when a disaster strikes. The Mechanism can also be activated during marine pollution emergencies, where it operates in close coordination with EMSA,” EMSA said in a release.
The agency, on the other hand, will contribute with emergency response services such as oil spill response vessels, maritime experts and satellite-based detection of oil pollution and vessels.
” Joining efforts in terms of technical and scientific cooperation and real-time information exchange will optimize the work of both in this area, and most importantly: contribute to better protecting people and environment in case of a maritime incident, accident or pollution,” EMSA added.
The new working arrangement updates an existing agreement from 2004. It reflects recent changes such as the reorganisation of the European Commission, including the establishment of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), and the development of new EU pollution monitoring tools, for example the European Satellite Oil Spill Monitoring Service, CleanSeaNet.
EMSA’s other tasks include the provision of technical and scientific assistance to the Commission and the Member States in the areas of maritime safety, security, prevention of pollution by ships and maritime transport administrative simplification.