More competencies for Maritime Safety Agency needed (EPP Newsletter)


Maria da Graça Carvalho wants to extend competences of the European Maritime Safety Agency, to protect EU from environmental disasters caused by oil exploration

During today's meeting of the European Parliament's Coordinators of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, who discussed with Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger, the environmental disasters caused by oil, Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP suggested to extend the competences of the European Maritime Safety Agency, located in Lisbon since May 2006, in order to develop oversight mechanisms of safety of oil platforms and to prevent environmental disasters related to the oil exploration.

To formalize this suggestion, Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP sent a letter to Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger, saying that "Taking into account the environmental disaster occurred in the Golf of Mexico, which has been responsible for the spillage of around 20.000 barrels of crude oil every day in the sea, and considering that Europe has explorations on the North Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, it is important to assure the protection of these coasts."

During the last plenary session in July, the European Commissioner announced that it is analysing the European legislation on this issue, especially regarding safety and responsibility to launch a moratorium on the new oil explorations and to reinforce the legislation in force.

According to Maria da Graça Carvalho "It is not necessary to create a new agency with these new competences, because this would have additional administrative and logistical costs. Therefore, we can seize the infrastructures of the European Maritime Safety Agency, which has a privileged and strategic position to embody these competences in Portugal."

The European Maritime Safety Agency provides technical support to the European Commission and to the Member States, in the development and implementation of the EU legislation on safety and maritime protection and also pollution from ships. To this Agency there were also assigned operational tasks in finding solutions for the oil pollution, and in identifying and tracking long-range ships.

Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP is a Member of the European Parliament in the EPP Group, Member of the ITRE Committee, substitute member of the Budgets Committee and member of the ACP-UE Joint Parliamentary Assembly. She was elected Co-President of the Economic Development, Finance and Trade Committee of ACP-UE Joint Parliamentary Assembly.