Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-273"

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". Mr President, Mr Vice-President of the Commission, the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats essentially supports the excellent reports submitted by Mrs Vincenzi and Mr Savary on flag State requirements and the liability of shipowners respectively. At the same time we would like to thank the rapporteurs for drafting these reports so skilfully. Contrary to the fears of some sections of the shipping industry, neither of the two directives really impose any new substantial requirements on shipping or the Member States, and they therefore do not adversely affect the competitiveness of the European fleet compared with its competitors from third countries either. Rather the two proposals actually only serve to make some long-standing international conventions in maritime law finally binding on all Member States. If we look at the individual proposals for the flag States, then it is high time that all 27 Member States in the European Union complied with their obligations under the international convention in terms of inspecting their own vessels. To do so it is not enough simply to sign and ratify conventions. It also requires the Member States finally to make available the necessary equipment and personnel so as to carry out effective inspections of their own vessels. When it comes to liability for accidents at sea, all that is actually happening here is that all Member States are being obliged by Community law finally to apply the 1996 LLMC Convention. We are also calling for the 1996 HNS Convention and the 2001 Bunker Oil Convention to be applied at long last, which is surely not really an unreasonable demand of either the shipping industry or the Member States. We can therefore justify our position perfectly. In the interests of the environment and the public, we are demanding something that goes completely without saying, and I hope that the Council will finally understand this and be prepared to deal with these two dossiers accordingly."@en1

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