Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-05-04-Speech-1-210"

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". Mr President, Vice-President of the Commission, the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats supports the version of the amending directive, negotiated by the rapporteur with the Council, which introduces sanctions against ship-source pollution. We would like to congratulate him warmly on his work. We would also like to congratulate the Vice-President, because without the help of the Commission it would not have been possible to come to an agreement with the Council at the first reading. It is a big day for us, because we can complete this important dossier at the end of this period. We must always remember that the new regulations became necessary because the Court of Justice of the European Communities in its judgments from 2005 and 2007 has finally made it completely clear that legislation, including criminal law, is permitted on the basis of the first pillar. We need this legislation to protect the seas from ships and from the behaviour of captains, shipowners and others. Until now the civil liability legislation has simply not been dissuasive enough. It is much cheaper to discharge something illegally into the sea. Surely that cannot be right. Therefore, we need effective sanctions. I would like to thank the rapporteur for this three-way agreement, which has been reached between all three institutions. It is clear that serious ship-source pollution must be classified and punished as a criminal offence and minor ship-source pollution can be regarded a regulatory offence, so that there is a distinction between the seriousness of the two types of activity. However – and my third point is very important – repeated minor ship-source pollution should now be regarded as a criminal offence, because it contributes to the overall pollution of the oceans and that is not a trivial matter. We must send out clear signals in this respect and we call on the Member States – and I hope that someone will pass this call on to the Council – to implement and to apply this directive immediately. We can only protect our oceans by means of dissuasive criminal sanctions."@en1

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